About Me

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“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” Oscar Wilde
You can follow my adventures on Twitter @AROTBEblog
Join the community Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/304942633026300/
Questions, Comments, and rants welcome at
bipolarexpressride@gmail.com


Friday, February 27, 2015

A Sinking Feeling

Can someone take my shovel, please?

I feel like I just keep digging myself into a deeper hole. I'm still depressed, and as I get farther down, I get more antisocial. I haven't been talking much, and when I do, it's quiet, muffled, and sounds angry. I have no appetite. I'm ridiculously tired but I can't sleep. I feel like I'm going to cry all the time. The list goes on.

Last time I met with my therapist, I explained that it's like walking through a dense forest. You can't see much, let alone a way out, but sometimes there's a bit of sun that breaks through. It's small and fleeting, but it's there. I actually hate those bits of sun because it reminds me of how I can't feel all the time (if that makes any sense). I mean, I'll be watching Gilmore Girls, and something funny will happen. I'll smile or laugh, but then it's right back down.

I am completely on my own. I've got no medications to help. It's getting so bad that I'm actually beginning to be afraid of myself. I've had more ideation thoughts in the last three days than I've had in the last three years. I need help, but I refuse to check myself in to any of the "treatment centers" here. They do far more damage than good.

I don't know what to do.

"Help"~ Bananarama (Beatles cover)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Help!

Catharsis (and possibly self discovery) in 3... 2... 1...

I have no idea how I feel right now. It's either something completely new, or about ten thousand things all combined into my tiny head. Normally, I can explain how I feel, but not today.

I didn't sleep at all last night, which makes for a very long night. My mind was on hyper drive and I honestly couldn't sort one single thought from the others. So basically, not only do I not know how I feel, I don't know what I'm thinking. Do you have any idea how frustrating this is?

Along with it being incredibly frustrating, it's sending my anxiety off the charts. This is super fun seeing as how I can't get a coherent sentence out on the best of days. Side note: It has already taken me three times longer to write this than normal. So, I've got this whole "... try to say smart, but the dumb comes out." ("Right Girl"~ The Maine) thing going on. Wednesdays are my therapy days, and not being able to form a complete, coherent sentence is not particularly helpful.

None of this has been made better by the fact that I had to be social. I had to go to the bank, then to the dentist, then to the grocery store, then to make an idiot of myself while simultaneously getting an innocent kid searched. Long story. Don't ask. As I was driving home, I had to stop on the side of the road because I was shaking so hard that driving became dangerous. Bright side: Got a couple of pictures from the benches.

I came home and haven't said a word. I feel like crying, laughing, screaming, and about a billion other things right now. If someone knows why I feel like this, I'd love to hear.

"Let Go"~ As December Falls

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Retraction & Correction

I've been meaning to talk about this for awhile, but I'm not particularly in the mood to communicate, so bear with me.

One of my most read posts is my first one, entitled, "Bipolar 101." In it, I describe the different types of Bipolar and their symptoms (to a very small extent) rather sarcastically. Since then, I have learned that the DSM-5 has changed the major criteria for the types. Not having read the DSM-IV, I'm not sure what all has changed, but I now fall under Bipolar 1 with rapid cycling.

As I was reading my original post, I was mortified. I have learned a lot since then, and I truly apologize for passing off anyone's suffering in such a sarcastic, demeaning way. Not gonna lie though, "Cop Out" and "Cop Out: The Sequel" were still funny.

I am not an expert, nor have I ever claimed to be. I've lived with this pain all my 28 years, and I'm still learning new things. This horrible thing that has been bestowed on us is more complicated and difficult to sort out than tangled Christmas lights. I'm not sure anyone has all the answers. Not even the DSM-5. We are all different, so we experience everything differently. All we can do is generalize the big things and go from there.

I've said before that I imagine "normal" as basically emotionless. I posed the question to a new Twitter friend who said that, paraphrased, it's not having to take so many pills and deal with the side effects along with the symptoms. I'd really like to hear what you think "normal" is. Please feel free to leave your comments below or email me at bipolarexpressride@gmail.com.

I'm gonna go back into my hole now, and listen to this...

"Story Of My Life"~ One Direction

Monday, February 23, 2015

50 Shades Of Purple


It's Monday...

Ever have one of those mornings where you just know the whole day is going to suck? Sometimes it gets better, sometimes it gets worse. Today was definitely a "gets worse" kind of day.

Why was it so bad? Well, To start with, I didn't sleep very well last night, which we all know makes for a hard day anyway. When I got up an hour before my alarm, I got so light-headed in the shower that I nearly fell over. Yes, it's a hilarious image to think of, but not too fun in actuality. Then, getting ready for work, my stomach decided that it didn't like what I had for breakfast (I'll spare you that image). That made me run late, and in my rush, I managed to burn part of my hair with my flat iron, trip and fall into my bed (lovely shade of purple now), and forget my watch, hat, and water bottle.

Things didn't get much (if any) better at work. It's super windy today, which makes it only about 20F outside (that's -7C for the rest of the world). When it's that cold, we keep the kids inside during recess. Easier, right? Oh so very many shades of wrong! Imagine for a minute... 30 kids in a classroom, no teacher (because she's at lunch), and allowed to play games. I think Dante may have forgotten to mention this circle of Hell.

Side note: Because of the noise and total lack of space, this sends my anxiety off the charts. I had to leave early.

I went to the library after, and as I was down looking at the bottom shelf, I got light-headed again and fell backward... right into the edge of the shelf behind. I haven't looked yet, but I bet it, too is a lovely shade of purple.

After that, I came home and turned on my Hanson playlist. I really shouldn't have gotten out of bed today...

Here's my favorite Hanson song of all-time.

"Georgia"~ Hanson

 
Twitter: @AROTBEblog
Facebook Group: A Ride On The Bipolar Express

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shallow As A Shower

"If you're out on the road..."

I've been binge watching Gilmore Girls since it hit Netflix. I watched it on TV faithfully (almost) every week, bought the DVDs when they came out, and dream of being just like Loreli. Here's why...

  1. Ok, can you say "awesome name"?!
  2. She's incredibly quick witted.
  3. She's confident in everything she does.
  4. She can coherently stand up for herself when she needs to.
  5. She's not afraid to just dive in.
I could go on for quite some time, but I'll spare you from my fangirl rants.

Well, as I think about how much I would love to be Loreli, I was noticing how much I'm like Luke.

  1. He's antisocial.
  2. He's not terribly eloquent.
  3. He pushes most people away,
  4. He doesn't accept that someone could actually like him.
  5. He sounds angry when he talks, even when he's happy(ish).
Again, I could go on, but I'll spare you from my self-deprecating rants this time.

I have a tendency to daydream, and I'm usually imagining myself as someone just like Loreli. It makes me happy to think that I could be happy, confident, and well liked. Then I get back to the real world and realize that I'm still the same old me.

When I get asked if I like myself, the most positive thing I can respond with is, "some aspects." Sure, I've got things I like about myself, but overall, I'm not my own biggest fan. Most of the time, I can't think of the things I do like, so I'm going to put them here as a reminder for myself.

  • I'm a realist.
  • I'm a music encyclopedia.
  • I've got fabulous hair. Shallow alert!
  • I'm freakishly organized.
  • I don't let outside influences alter my style.
Not gonna lie... that took 20 minutes to think of just those 5 things.

Anyway... here's the only song that came into my head while writing this...

"Curse of Curves"~ Cute Is What We Aim For

 
Twitter: @AROTBEblog
Facebook Group: A Ride On The Bipolar Express

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Friend In The Eye Of The Storm

Do I have to get out of bed?

I've hit the bottom once again. I don't particularly like the mania or mixed episodes, but my absolute least favorite is the depression.

People who have never experienced a true depression (meaning, more than "I didn't get the job") don't understand that it is more than just emotional. Again, not speaking for everyone, but I get physical things as well. It most literally hurts to move, so when I do, it's much slower than usual. I talk slower, I think slower, I am slower. The worst part for me, though, is the fact that, again, it most literally hurts to even smile. I work with kids. I need to be able to smile. Even a fake one would be nice!

I haven't wanted to get out of bed for three days now, and believe it or not, forcing it makes me feel worse. This whole deal of "try a little harder" is total rubbish. Even "fake it til you make it" is just going to escalate my depression (oxymoron of the century!).

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

I tend to point out things when I'm down here, like how I only have two or three people who really talk to me. I wish I could say it was as nice as that, but I get incredibly sarcastic and a little demeaning. I've never actually said this before, not even to myself, but I do that because I'm scared. I don't want to feel like this to begin with, let alone go through it alone, but when someone asks, "what can I do?" I have no answer. I don't know how to answer it. Just knowing that someone is there is good enough for me.

I'm pretty sure I've used this song before, but I love it and it applies to those who are there.

"Rescue"~ The Summer Set


 
Twitter: @AROTBEblog
Facebook Group: A Ride On The Bipolar Express

Monday, February 16, 2015

Where Do Stigmas Come From?

This is probably going to sound like I have a superiority complex...

I've been reading some things lately written by people who also have Bipolar, and the only thing I can say is, are you freaking kidding me?!

I've lost track of how many times I've said that I don't show emotion outside my house and that I like to pretend I don't have a problem. I don't want to talk about it all the time. I know I have a problem, but would you want to talk about that strange mole on your leg 24/7? I'm well aware of my shortcomings and do not need to be constantly reminded of them.

Then there are the people who are always using their mental illness as an excuse. If you're cranky, rude, or pitching a full-on fit, that's just you. Having a mental illness does not excuse anyone from having manners. I feel like the bottom of a compost heap every minute of every day, yet I manage to keep some sense of decorum. Screaming in the middle of the road while ripping your clothes off? Don't say "it's because I have Bipolar." It's not. I promise. You're just looking for a way out with the fewest repercussions.

I've seen people say they have some kind of mental illness to get out of trouble ranging from traffic tickets to that freak who shot up the theatre in Colorado. And we wonder where the stigmas come from...

If you feel like the bottom of a compost heap and need to stay home in bed, do it. There's nothing wrong with that. Don't, however, expect understanding and compassion when you act out and blame it on your brain. We are the only ones who can end the stigmas.

  • Mental illness does not give you special rights.
  • Mental illness is not an excuse for lack of decorum.
  • Using mental illness for your own advantage is only escalating stigmas.


Twitter: @AROTBEblog
Facebook Group: A Ride On The Bipolar Express


"Honestly"~ Hot Chelle Rae


Friday, February 13, 2015

I'm A Hazard To Myself

*Sigh*

So, I have finally succumbed to the fact that I cannot work enough to support myself and, without proper care, I never will. Between my mood swings (notice how I avoided "the B word" again) and ever increasing anxiety, I am doomed to part time and low income. I hate having to ask my parents for money for anything, let alone everyday living things like clothes, food, etc. I've said before how I like to pretend I don't have a problem, and believe me, I've avoided "the D word" like WalMart on clearance day, but I came out of my imaginary happy world long enough to apply for... Disability.

Just admitting that makes me feel like a lazy, entitled moron who can't be bothered to get a real job. Don't get me wrong, I've never looked down on anyone receiving disability benefits (if for the right reasons), I just have been telling myself I'm normal for so long that I actually believe it. Until I get around actual normal people, that is...

I had help from my attorney to fill out the application (actually, his office manager did it and she's awesome too), and every question about medication and job histories just felt like a knife. As I was thinking back on my job history, I felt more and more like a failure. I've had one job that has lasted more than four months. One. I've had quite a few jobs that have lasted less than a month. I had one once that lasted just one week. Since March of 2011, I've had so many jobs that I can't even remember some of them!

I actually confined myself to my room most of the day because just thinking about what a failure I am sent me into an incredibly fast spiral down to the lowest circle of Hell. Side note: I had to go to WalMart today, as well, and that just made the spiral faster. Why can't I do the things that normal people do? I want to go to work 40 hours each week and complain that I work too much to do anything fun. I want to have that one person in the office that I confide in about how much I hate the boss. I want to contribute to society. Most of all, I want to know that I'm not a burden; on my parents or the taxpayers.

Twitter: @AROTBEblog
Facebook Group: A Ride On The Bipolar Express

"Don't Let Me Get Me"~ P!nk

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Girl Talk

I'm crabby.

Let's be honest, ladies. Not one single woman on the planet jumps for joy at the arrival of her period each month. We all get crabby because we feel like we got hit by a truck, we have to pay a ridiculous amount for supplies to maintain something we never asked for, and those supplies are freakishly uncomfortable, but having to deal with those hormones along with what's already going on inside my head is, well, less than fun.

I can be called moody on the best of days, but during my far-too-frequent "special time," (Side note: whoever started calling it that should be shot.) being anywhere near me makes you a target. I think I should design a shirt that says:
 
WARNING:
Close proximity to occupant
may result in serious injury!
 
I used to have one that said "Caution: Does Not Play Well With Others," but I outgrew it when I was 18 (ok... I finally threw it out when I was 18 because I'd had it since I was 12 and much, much smaller). Yeah... there was no point in telling you that...
 
Anyhow... You'd think that there would be some kind of cosmic exception making it impossible to have that many mood swings. I've basically succumbed to the fact that, I will be spiraling down an emotional vortex of doom every four weeks and hide as much as I can.
 
On the bright side: I have pizza.
 
Twitter: @AROTBEblog
Facebook Group: A Ride On The Bipolar Express
 
This.
 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hard Time On The Inside

Here goes...

Last night, a good friend of mine suggested that I write what it's like inside treatment hospitals. I'm not sure I'm the best person to be doing this, as I've spent less than a week between the two times I've been locked up, but I'll try.

The first time, I was 15 and admitted to the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). From what I remember, this was a good place. They had a level system, so, the more progress you made, the more perks you got. The staff was great! Nobody talked down to anyone else.

However, I was only there for one night because I'm ridiculously good at talking my way out of things.

The next time, I was 24 and put on a "blue sheet" at... not UNI (I won't say where this place is simply because I'm afraid of them coming after me for defamation). Side note: A blue sheet means you're not there voluntarily and they hold you for at least 72 hours. This was, without a doubt, the absolute worst place I could have been! The doctors were almost never around, I was forced to participate in things I either had no interest in or simply didn't want to do, and the entire staff made it very clear that everyone was there by their own fault. You're in here because of something you did. Forget the fact that you have an illness, you just did something bad.

We were treated no better than felons! Every door had to be unlocked by staff who would act like they were doing you a favor by letting you use the restroom. If you don't participate in group, you're threatened with longer incarceration. They had phones, but the staff had to dial out and you were only allowed two minutes (I actually fought them on that quite a few times. Yelling was involved, with colorful names used to describe the staff).

Not bad enough? I made nice with one of the other inmates (I refuse to say patients for this place) who was there for a rather interesting reason... She went in to the office just for a basic evaluation, as was instructed by her doctor. This place blue sheeted her because she had one passing suicidal thought seven years before.

Sadly, there's a list of things that have lead to my not wanting to seek proper care besides this prison. When I was in elementary school, the school psychologist figured that, "since you can't get along with these particular classmates, you can spend the day away from them, locked in my office." I got punished for being a victim. I've had several therapists who have done more damage than good, but this was the worst.

Yes, our system is not only broken, it's shattered, but it's not all bad. I'm in a pretty good place with all that now. I know how to judge if a particular therapist will work for me (usually if they won't let me talk my way out of it the first visit, they're good), and I know myself well enough to play with my prescribed medications to see if they will work.

I urge every single one of you to question what you're given. Don't accept that this bad therapist/medication/whatever is all there is. You are the only one who truly knows what's best for you. If it's not working or it makes you uncomfortable, get a second opinion or go somewhere else. Most of all... DO NOT LET ANYONE TRY TO CONVINCE YOU THAT ANY OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT!


"Jailhouse Rock"~ Elvis Presley



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

That Was A Wall...

Oww.

Have you ever changed moods so quickly that you have no clue what even triggered it and it kind of feels like you hit a brick wall? That's where I was today.

Despite my anxiety over returning to work this week, yesterday was pretty good. Today was a whole other story. It started out alright, but about half way through my whole four and a half hour shift, I plunged so low and so fast that I'm still waiting for my ears to pop!

I've spent the last few hours trying to pinpoint the dirty little factor that did this to me, and as usual, I figured it out just now as I'm typing. There's quite a bit going on at the school today. It's close to Valentine's Day, so all the classes are doing their art and party prep, there's the semi-annual book fair that all the classes got to go preview, and one class has a display that all the other classes are going to see. Worst part: The room where the book fair is, is right close to the class who has the display. This is the area I'm in all day. Too many people moving too much of the time.

The fun continued on my way home. Fun Fact: Utahns don't know how to drive properly! I swear, I could write new words to "12 Days of Christmas" to apply to how bad our drivers are.

OH! I got more of my records today. I was locked up in the absolute worst facility in the world a few years ago (long story there), and for the 41 pages of completely useless crap they sent, they want $20.50! How could anyone, in good conscience, charge that much for someone's own information?! Especially when it's useless?! That's it. I'm moving to the UK. The NHS is (mostly) a better system.

On the bright side, I got to talk to my friend in Oklahoma today! I don't get to talk to her much, so when I do, it always makes me happy. Even if only momentarily.

"Scene Change"~ The White Tie Affair (This is the best video I could find in the 30 seconds before I gave up. I normally hate fan-made lyric videos because the lyrics are usually wrong.)


Twitter: @AROTBEblog
Facebook: A Ride On The Bipolar Express
Email: bipolarexpressride@gmail.com


Updates N'stuff

I've talked about my twitter, but have never actually mentioned what my handle thingy is. So, should you desire to do so, you can follow me there.

@AROTBEblog

I've also talked about the Facebook group. It's there for sufferers, family, friends, or anyone wanting to learn more. It's completely open, so feel free to join!

A Ride On The Bipolar Express

I have also set up an email. Why? Because I'd love to hear from you! I know some people who read this don't want to post comments because it's kind of difficult to leave it anonymously, so if you have a comment, question, or need to vent, you can send it to me! Sure, I'll know your name, but everything is between us.

bipolarexpressride@gmail.com

Fin.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Just Another Title

Gotta suck it up, right? No.

I've been ridiculously sick for the last week or so and have been stuck in bed with my tissues, NyQuil, and Netflix. Now, normally this would sound fun, but when I have a job, it seriously messes with me.

When I start a new job (or go back after being a walking virus), it takes me a while to get into the groove. My anxiety skyrockets and I become the reincarnation of Harry Houdini. Some jobs take more time to get used to than others. If my schedule is the same days and times every week, it's going to take me a bit longer than if it changed. It actually took me seven weeks to make all my scheduled hours at my current job.

Best part of working at a school: 2 week Christmas break.
Worst part of working at a school: 2 week Christmas break.

I haven't recovered from the break yet and it's February! So much has piled on in the last few weeks that have made me miss work that I haven't even been able to make half my hours since we came back in January! 

Right now, I'm sitting on my bed, making myself nauseous with the idea of going in today. I love my job, but my brain has other ideas.

"Xiat"~ Trevor Moran
"Trying to do normal things I used to pursue.
So fired up, but now rotting inside.
I do my hardest to break out of this shell.
Without a crack, I'm still stuck in this Hell."

Friday, February 6, 2015

On The Record

At least I'm consistent...

I've been collecting my psychiatric records, and all I can say is "really?" I don't have much in the way of super far back, but even since 2009, not much has changed. On paper, anyway.

I've said before how I like to pretend I don't have a problem. It's always been that way. When I get those questionnaires about mental status, I will always mark the things that make me look normal. My efforts are, however, in vain because the doctors' notes will always tell a different story.

I was just going through my records from the last place that did my medication management, and I got back to the initial paperwork I had to fill out before being seen. On those, I had to mark somewhere between one and four (one being "not at all" and four being "all the time"). I don't think I actually read the statements before simply choosing to mark the one box. Every now and then, though, I'd change it up and mark a two. I read all the notes from my doctor and thought, "Why do I even try to hide it?" I mean, when the notes say that there is a "markedly noticeable difference" in what I put on paper versus how I act, it's useless.

Now comes the really hard part: accepting, not only the illness, but the illness being a part of me. I've only ever posted three pictures of myself on here (none of which could be used for identification) because I hadn't fully accepted it. I've been thinking of it as its own entity, but it's not. I'm not saying that it is me, I'm just saying that it is a part of me. I may not like it, but without it, I feel like I'm not being honest with myself. So this is me. Flaws and everything. (Sorry. I'm not too big on selfies, so this is the best I have.)