daily walk: Pyramid Point

pyramidpoint-a

Dear Internet,

Today’s walk was actually a hike through one of our favorite areas: Pyramid Point. Last year when we did this hike, we meandered off the main trail and ended up more than 2 miles further from the trailhead than we were supposed to be and the 2.7 mile hike turned into 5 miles.

Then, after we figured out our location and were walking towards our car, I managed to have a massive anxiety attack and shut myself down. TheHusband jogged back to the car on his lonesome to come back and pick me up since it was clear I was refusing to not move an inch. After he had been gone for what felt like years, I somehow got myself pulled together and trudged forward, meeting him 1/10th of a mile from our where our car was parked.

Good times!

Now that I know the area better, and I’ve been steadily walking around the neighborhood these last few weeks, I felt much more confident going into the hike.

Plus it’s hard to not feel awesome when wearing a pair of sassy orthopedic socks.

pyramidpoint-b

Beginning of the trailhead.

pyramidpoint-c

After walking about about a half a mile to the split, you could either continue climbing up and to the lookout to view Lake Michigan or continue on the trail into the woods. The lookout is densely packed and with the large number of people hanging out today, we decided to go right into the woods.

pyramidpoint-e

If you did choose to up to the lookout, you can hike around the bluffs and come back down via this sand slide to the trail as an alternate route. TheHusband wants to get in shape enough to come up this route instead of the trail in the beginning since it will be less populated. I laughed in his general direction.

pyramidpoint-f

TheHusband is contemplating a tree that had half of its trunk neatly cut off by lightning.

pyramidpoint-g

There are loads of fallen trees over the trails and I love them. I feel like I’m hanging out in Middle Earth and these are seating for giants.

pyramidpoint-h

There is a side loop you can take through meadows, where last year I kept saying, “The Orcs are chasing us — run!” as we hiked. Why? Because Old Age Pensioners (or Orcs as I like to call them) were catching up with us and having the elderly more fit than you is embarrassing.

Anywho, that loop brings you back to this point, and this is where we fucked up. We started out taking the meadows and took a wrong turn somewhere and this is how we ended up 2 miles further than we were supposed to be. This year, we said fuck the meadows and just continued on the trail in the woods. Much safer that way. Plus — no Orcs!

fitbitcrash
Distance: 2ish miles (round trip)
Walk time: 40ish minutes
Pace: 26:32/mile

I forgot to turn the Fitbit on until after we had started the hike and there were also some hiccups, so the times is sorta of close? During bits of the hike itself, Fitbit kept crashing as evidence by the lack of red line connecting the beginning and the rest of the hike and I realised you could also “lock” the timer into place so if you navigated away from the screen, it wouldn’t put itself on pause.

Tomorrow TheHusband has found us another hike. Good times will be had whether we like them or not.

xoxo

Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2011, 1999

daily walk: pause

Dear Internet,

Today is my last day at MPOW and this morning instead of doing my new usual morning mile, I lolled in bed slapping the snooze button until I had to get up.

It would be irony to be late on the my last day of work.

Truth be told, it was not overt laziness that prevented me from getting up but downright sleepiness and exhaustion. Starting with Sunday night, this week has been torture for sleep. I could not sleep until 6AM Monday morning and then ended up sleeping for four hours which threw Monday off like woah. Monday night we gutted like pigs in a trough over pizza and I took a Benadryl hoping it would knock me out early so I could actually get some sleep.

That failed as four hours later I took a Klonopin to finally knock me out.

Despite the drugs, Monday’s night’s rest was short which coupled with getting up early on Tuesday to walk, and the same pattern repeating itself on Tuesday meant I was averaging about 4-5 hours of sleep each night.

After dinner on Wednesday, I decided to put my feet up and do some web work with Orphan Black on in the background. TheHusband was off playing a video game, so he was relaxing on his own. I was feeling fairly peaceful as I worked until I got hit with rapid heart beat, which is my usual physical manifestation of anxiety.

A panic attack while watching Orphan Black? Really? Fuck this.

So obviously I took a Klonopin.

Hearts and guts are treacherous souls.

An absolute known, for me, on taking Klonopin on consecutive days is that I feel sluggish and even more tired the more I take it, even though the shelf-life is not long. Klonopin is great when I need to put a rampaging panic attack in its place, but it can never be more than that thought on occasion it has been.

So you will forgive me, I hope, that today’s walk was not done. After all, tomorrow is another day.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe:

she-bear

Henry Fuseli - Hamlet and his father's Ghost (1780-1785). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Henry Fuseli – Hamlet and his father’s Ghost (1780-1785). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Dear Internet,

TheHusband and I were set to go up to Throbbing Cabin last night but opted to stay home to circumvent the potential traffic bomb of travelling on a holiday weekend. Our plan, then, was to leave this morning and stay at Throbbing Cabin for the rest of the weekend,  coming home on Monday morning.

This morning, however, had other ideas

When I woke up, I went into a massive panic attack where I refusing to not just not leave the house, but I was not going to leave our bed, or even get dressed or any thing resembling personal care. I became so agitated over the prospect of leaving, moving, interacting with people, I started to get into manic mind mode. TheHusband, who had been out walking the dog when the attack started, returned back to our bedroom to my meltdown.

When I saw him, I immediately burst into tears.

Needless to say, we’re not going anywhere this weekend.

TheHusband has learned to stop asking me what is setting off the panic attacks because I never know. Sometimes it’s mental, sometimes they are physical. Sometimes I can ward them off, and others, like today, I’m overwhelmed by their sheer control over me.

The attacks, or in this instance the need to shelter myself from the world, has become more intense over time. I often feel hyper sensitive to the outside world. People. Situations. In my head, when plotting a set of errands that require me to leave the house for long periods of time, I attempt to sort them to make them least painful and less having to interact with anyone. Sometimes, more often than not, I lie to get out of situations because the thought that I would need to be around other people, or more rightly in places that are not familiar, makes me anxious. My house is my touchstone and if I cannot have things set up the way I need them to be set up to function, then things start to break down.

While my depression in the past has been the cause for decrease in sexy times, the drugs have amplified sexy times, along with everything I have just explained. I’ve always had voracious attitude towards sex and with nearly a year on Lithium, it has dried up like an October leaf. I was telling a friend of mine recently, who was newly diagnosed as bipolar himself, I could have Alexander Skarsgard naked on a chaise reading a book in front of me, and I’d be, “Eh.” I don’t want to touch myself, let alone my own husband, and I could not even summon the desire for a naked Alexander Skarsgard. Or James McAvoy. Or any of my fictitious husbands.  I used to be the girl who wanted to have sex every where and with everything, and now I would just like to put the kettle on and have a good pot of tea.

And yes, I have a fairly healthy vibrator and dildo collection that is currently gathering dust. Which is a shame as some of them are expensive and were gifts.

At my last medicating appointment, Dr. H. was absolutely positive that by taking Klonopin at night would help some of my issues. The idea being if I take the drug at night, I will get a sound sleep. If I get a sound sleep, then I will feel rested in the morning and more at ease.

Except that didn’t work. After trying this for a week or two and still feeling exhausted and pent up, I told Dr. P. who suggested I take the Klonopin earlier in the evening, say 7PM instead of 10PM. The reason is that Klonopin releases slowly so if I’m taking it later in the evening, by time I wake up, I’m groggy because the drug is still working. Then I start amping up on caffeine to get over the hump and the cycle begins again.

Dr. H. gave me a prescription for Wellbutrin, and after several weeks of circling it like shark, I bit the bullet and got it filled. Numerous friends of mine with similar brain issues have all reported good things with Wellbutrin and as it was not a SSRI, I figured it was worth a shot.

The first few days of Wellbutrin,  I was downright cheery. I didn’t feel the energized pep that several friends reported, but I was honestly okay with all of that. By the end of the first week, the dark clouds started to form and for the entire second week, I was hell on wheels. It was not so bad that other people knew, or commented, but it was so bad that I picked up all the signs that this was not going to end well. My meltdown this morning was the final straw and I stopped taking the drug.

Some medicating therapists will have you push on through these periods because after the drug settles, it is smooth sailing. I can’t do this, emotionally, physically, mentally, or financially. My brain chemistry is such that what takes someone 21 days to metabolize a drug, it takes me 7. I may have a fight on my hands with Dr. H. this week because he’s going to report back to me my lithium levels are still in the therapeutic range and I’m going to tell him that regardless if they are, I need to get off that drug in a safe manner because I’m done with this experiment.

A year ago when I called Dr. P. to get my life on track, I was open to the idea of drug therapy because I wanted the pain to end. I wanted a way to chemically fix what was broken if talk therapy didn’t work enough. and to fix what behaviour modification could not fix. Dr. P. recommended Dr. H., who confirmed the existing diagnosis of ADHD, Bipolar I, Borderline Personality Disorder, with a top up of anxiety.

The idea was to get my mood stabilized with lithium, then start adding in the ADHD drugs to control that. Once we found the combination, everything would be grand!

Well, not so much.

Reading through some of those old entries, a lot of patterns begin to show. The drugs, mood/ADHD, are clearly not working. I can’t afford to emotionally keep putting my life into upheaval every time I go on something new to see if it works.

This nine month experiment, while peppered with good intentions, has crippled me more than I could ever imagine. Feeling myself hit the wall, time and time again, the disappointment I’ve laid on myself when something didn’t work, the guilt I built around me when I couldn’t complete a task, and the friendships I lost because I was not the person they thought I was.

The constant stress of wondering who I was going to be that day when I woke up, and how that affected work and personal relationships.

I’m done. I don’t want to be this girl anymore, who hides in her bedroom afraid of the world. I’m done not living a life because I feel too medically incapacitated to do so.

The new plan is to get weaned off of Lithium, and start a diet and exercise routine because literally, every book on bipolar talks about the lessening symptoms if you do these two things. Continue to see Dr. P. for talk therapy, once a week as current or more if he warrants it.

Anything has to be better then the now.
I want my life back and it looks like, I’m the one whose going to have to go get it.

x0x0,
Lisa (Day #36)

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