disappear in the sweet, sweet gaze

Dear Internet,

It seems everyone around me is getting their shit together mentally, physically, or other. I’ve got friends of varying diameters from my heart who are all taking the big leap in making their lives whole, and you know, I don’t want to be left out. I may seem to march to the beat of my own drummer, but secretly I want to be part of the band.

The other half of my year long sabbatical (other than to write, natch) is to do also do a jump start on Lisa-love. Now that most of my major social obligations are out of the way, I can get working on the Making Happy project, which I started back in late December 2013 but did not continue. I got sucked into everything else happening outside my world and then forgot to do self-care bit. No, I’m not doing that anymore. I refuse to participate in any culture OR relationship where I can’t get my needs met OR interact with people who don’t desire to become better human beings. I’d rather be alone for the right choices then be in places to satiate some sort of stupid societal design.

(One of my favorite people, nina, talks about the importance of self-care and standing up for yourself in her post, I Desire to Be More Sensitive. Yes, she spins it from a professional point of view but honestly? If you continue to live in a world that only supports a small demographic, I don’t want you in my life.)

To that end, I am going to start documenting my moods/exchanges/other details to deal with getting my life on track and in order using the Day One app. It’s hard to make big decisions when I don’t know if what I’m feeling is the DISEASES whispering their madness in my ear or I genuinely am not interested in that thing. nina speaks the proverbial truth when she notes those who have mental health illnesses are punished when it comes to these feelings, “because they are constantly told not to trust their perceptions, intuitions, and feelings about the world (and themselves in relation to the world).” 

I <3 you,  nina.

The constant back and forthing on every decision is exhausting and defeating. I think I’m significantly better on deciding what is what, but for other things, not so much.

With all this in mind, I decided to go back on the bipolar drugs. Again. For the fourth of fifth time (I’ve lost track).

I know last year I was pretty adamant getting off the Lithium and focusing on holistic approach and it mostly works but it’s not enough. Constantly being ON takes so much out of me that I just don’t have the strength to do much of anything else.

And I’m missing out on the joy of life because keeping me on path is all I can do most days. I am desperate for my own Instagram feed of happy times, smiling faces, and good friends instead of food pics, random body pics, and dog pics.

I confessed to two people in these last weeks I thought maybe I had a good ten years left in me before ending my life by my hand. I’m continually amazed I made it to 42 because there was a long time where I didn’t think I made it to 30. A lot of what keeps me moving forward are those two people, and others, who inspire and touch depths of me that have never seen sunlight.

Even on days like today, where one cup of coffee is giving me a full body haze and the nerves in my face feels like a thousand tiny pinpricks on fire, I am buoyed by that love. I can grab joy in minute amounts, but fuck it, I want to hover up the whole buffet.

Yes, I am willing to do anything to amplify and extending getting to that joy and if that means I get back on the bipolar drugs, so be it. It will also help pull me back from me having to be ON all the time, which will allow me to enjoy life more rather than less. But I have guidelines, as you do, and this time no ADHD drugs or SSRIs. Lithium, any other drug that has lactose/whey as an inactive ingredient, is also out.

I crave mental stability much in the same vein I crave cake. I crave the details so refined to fill in the gaps of the experiences.

But I’m not going to give it all to the drug gods, no, I have to continue to do my work too such as refining the diet and continue with the exercise. And leaving the house once in a while.

Just like last year, just like now, I end this with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers:

There’s no point to any of this. It’s all just a… a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know… a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle… and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt. Troy Dyer

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 2012, 2010, 2010

 

 

TheHusband came in and told me how much he appreciated me and is encouraging of my work. I am noting this as I am naturally suspicious.

Dear Internet,

In our household, neither TheHusband nor myself are one for blowing smoke up each other’s arses. Thus when he showed up in my office this morning to tell me how much he appreciates everything I do and asked how he could be more encouraging of my work, I was naturally suspicious.

TheHusband is a snugglesaurus par excellence, but expressing himself verbally is not his forte. Hence my suspicion when the outpouring comes because it is so unexpected that I am inclined to narrow my eyes a little and start probing him with questions.

When you think about it, I’m the one being the jerk here when he’s the one wearing his heart on his basketball shorts.

(And he is the only person alive who is allowed to call me “Pookie Bear” without irony or fear of losing an appendage.)

It has been documented we have a very complicated mating ritual.

««««»»»»

My brain is on fire. It is spinning so fast, I feel at any moment it is going to whiz out of my skull and splat against the wall.

Mania has beset me this week, which is why I’ve been negligent on the daily walks. When it gets to the point where I need to start taking Klonopin to bring me down to normal human speed, even a half dose in the middle of the day, on a near daily basis, productivity slows down to a crawl. If I take Klonopin more than a couple of days in a row, even if my head is buzzing a million miles an hour, I physically feel exhausted and barely able to function.

It becomes a delicate balance of what can I accomplish before needing to take the drugs so I can stop being in mental pain.

««««»»»»

This week was  filled with Adult Responsibilities aka I had to wear pants and leave the house. I met with our new CPA on Wednesday and my lawyer on Thursday, both for the reason of completing a LLC on Pookie Bear Industries (not really the name though TheHusband was championing for it).

Why the LLC? Well, a couple of reasons with the main one being as that I’m in the process of lining up some freelance work, I need to be able to write off expenses related to the freelancing. I’m also planning on doing some self-publishing work that if I have a LLC, it will just look better professionally.

(There a metric fuck ton of homework that I need to do for both the CPA and the lawyer, so I’m trying to squeak that out when my head is not inflamed. Sometimes being an adult is hard.)

««««»»»»

I knew going into this I would not be writing every single day, at least not on a single project everyday, and I did know I needed to square out space for household activities to allow me to write uninterrupted. When I’m at home, I feel inclined to do all the domestic work needed and letting that overrun when I should be doing something related to this new adventure. But as I start to get a feel for my schedule and tackling much needed domestic things and Adult Responsibilities, it often comes to early evening before I even have that space to write. Coupled with the mania as of late, it’s all been a well managed chaos.

I will say I’m pretty pleased that even with how my brain is feeling, I set out a small goal todos every day and get those done without too much pain or stress. I’ve started documenting every single thing I’ve done for the day, no matter how minute, in DayOne so I can have better accountability and will making writing up my monthly summary easier.

Monday I’m heading up to Throbbing Cabin solo to work for a week without interruption. The goal is to get the bulk of the work I’ve outlined a few days ago started and in some sort of decent shape. This weekend will be spent doing work on the back end of the work. Without having a snugglesaurus TheHusband around or domesticity to tempt me out of my working lair, I will be able to buckle down and zone out in my worlds.

The kind of day I’m structuring will float something like this: Wake up, take a hike around the area (hence the daily walks will resume), get some writing done. Eat something. Get some more writing done. Eat some more. Do a bit of reading. Hang out at the beach with my telescope. Sleep.

If that does work, I am hoping to be travelling up to Throbbing Cabin as much as I can solo until the snows fall. And maybe, if TheHusband is very good, he can come visit.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2011, 2003

Lithos

Dear Internet,

I’m so happy ’cause today
I found my friends,
They’re in my head
Lithium by Nirvana

Friday I had my follow up with Dr. H., my medicating doc, and I was hoping he’d say, “Yep, Concerta isn’t working, let’s put you on X and try that instead” and let me go on my merry little way. Didn’t happen. Of course, because that would be far too easy. So, now, then what do we do?

I spent the better part of an hour going over every drug that has entered my system or that I had left in the last couple of months (OTC or prescribed), and went through my entire 1.5 weeks on Ritalin + Concerta experience. Noting to him every little new “thing” triggered by either drug or was put to rest by either drug. I’m thankful that I wrote as much as I did while tracking my mania/The Sads, but I didn’t write enough because he asked me a lot of questions I could not easily answer nor were there any hints in my blog when I checked while at his office. I think it’s important to be a public voice for this drug experience, but sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what I’m doing and how I’m doing or do it in a matter that is more coherent. Maybe it doesn’t have to be?

TheHusband pointed out maybe if I wrote more stream of consciousness (which I did a lot of when I was in my ’20s), it would be easier. I think he has a point. While I plan on keeping up with writing about this publicly, I need to be more diligent on my note taking privately. I bought DayOne for my Mac, iPad, and iPhone ages ago and used it pretty heavily after for the first month or so and then tapered off. It was interesting how much came out when I was writing only for me – though to be fair, when I write here, I also am writing just for me. But writing in a matter that is more private, I suppose, frees up a lot of internal censorship that I unconsciously use on myself. The only glitch I had using DayOne was when I was on computer (like work) that is not MacOS variant based. My solution to that was either bring in my Air (which I’ve been doing more of) or use Evernote and create a folder tag for DayOne writings to transpose later.

So, more writing about this experience. Duly noted.

As I said a few weeks ago, the accepted diagnosis is ADHD with Bipolar with bits of Borderline Personality Disorder thrown in for good measure, which coincides with the diagnosis back in 2005. When I was living in Northern Virginia (NoVa) from 1999-2002, I was seeing a therapist there who cycled me through a lot of drugs: anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotics (alternative for the anti-anxiety) for Bipolar and definitely anxiety. I was on, then off, then on, and then off so many drugs that I felt like my brain would just explode. I swore then no matter what the fuck happened, I was NOT putting myself on any of that medicinal merry-go-round again. I’d learn to live, cope, and exist with my current brain chemistry as it is because I could not take that kind of mental anguish again.

So when Dr. H. said he was putting me on lithium today, I burst into tears in his office.

With the exception of Klonopin in the last ten years, I’ve been mainly drug free. I was hell bent on going holistic on the vapors of my brain, but that apparently hasn’t been working and so, where we are.

This where the helplessness started to become so overwhelming that I nearly bolted from his office. I came to him, as a recommendation from Dr. P. to get the drugs for ADHD and monitor them, and now he’s putting me on this medicinal go around for the bipolar, which is apparently triggered by the ADHD? The way Dr. H explains it is that if Ritalin AND Concerta are triggering mania, depression, and other traits of the bipolar, those need to be addressed first before Concerta (or any related drug) can really be effective for me. I’m unlucky in that not only do I tend to metabolize drugs more quickly than other humans, and I also tend to pick up the rare side effects from the drugs. They can’t plaster me with a catch-all drug to cure X because that triggers these other things that have now sprung up.

Dr. H. gets my hesitancy about this, but he feels pretty confident we can find that sweet spot where everything plays nicely and I can feel some sense of normalcy. But it will be tricky, which means I have to be more diligent on keeping track of my moods and everything else in between.

This isn’t the first time I was on lithium, as I was on it during the first chemical-go-around when I was living on NoVa and I remember that sweet spot for like 3 days when I was on lithium and something else where everything was fucking awesome. The world seemed brighter, the colors were deeper, food tasted sublime, and I did not feel like a scatterbrained idiot. Here’s to hoping that we can get there again.

ProTip: Don’t ever read forums, regardless of the reliability of the website, about drugs, drug interactions, or their side effects. Because you’re going to end up self-diagnosing yourself with consumption or the vapors, and never want to leave your house again.

TheHusband, who rejects “white man medicine”1 for most everything gets that in order to make his Pookie Bear better, she’s got to swallow the poison. We’ve been big supporters of whole foods lifestyle for a long time, and while we tend to fall off the wagon here or there, for the most part, for fat people, we are pretty fucking healthy fat people. But we know we can do a lot better, so before this drug shenanigans came into play, we planned to kickstart our healthy eating and exercise again. To be more whole, mentally AND physically just reinforces the idea that we really need to get behind this and stick with it. The goal is that with a better balanced diet, more exercise (as I am more mobile now), and seeing Dr. P. every week and Dr. H. monthly, things will (hopefully) start to get better.

Kale smoothies, here we come. Rah. Rah. Rah.

But darkly, in the shadows lurking, I also know, as it is with any kind of drug that is taken for the brain, there is almost always a dark side before the dawn. That is the risk you have to take.

My regime is 600mg of Lithium (1 300mg tablet taken twice daily), 36mg of Concerta, and my usual assortment of multivitamins and supplements. Because of the Concerta, I’m off caffeine (and have been for 11 days as of this writing). because of Lithium, I cannot take NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc) and I should watch my salt intake. Dr. H. also wants me to refrain from alcohol while I’m on lithium, which means I can’t dip into the Absinthe my brother got me for Christmas.

I’m also allergic to dairy, so there is also that to add into the do not haves.
It’s a good thing I like water.

x0x0,
Lisa


1. He’s Native American.