calm of the storm

April 17, 2013

Calmer now. The waters have receded. We’re moving onward.

 

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many things

April 9, 2013

I’m not dead. Yet. I’ve just been knitting and watching documentaries.

I have also been slowly recovering from a spike in rapid cycling, which sometimes happens. I distanced myself from people and gave myself some time alone. It helps me to become reclusive. People tend to set me off, and I don’t want to hurt them by saying something ridiculous that I didn’t mean to say.

During these times the dumbest things come out of my mouth. For one, I can’t speak straight, so my words are jumbled, and sometimes I stutter. Once one of the new hires at work got very suddenly too close to me and it frightened / unnerved me so much (because if there is one thing I hate with a passion, it is people getting too close to me without prior permission) that I started hard enough to gasp for breath and immediately hit a s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s. I had been trying to say the word “six”.

She giggled and asked if I was okay. All I could do was mumble yes and get back to what I had been doing, as far away from her as possible.

See, all of this comes back weeks after it happens. I couldn’t have written about this instance directly after it had happened; not even days afterward. It had to settle and boil down and be analyzed from top to bottom. I think I hurt her feelings, because she seemed to approach me gentler after that. Anyway, she only showed up for one more day, then quit.

I was relieved. I could not have dealt with extremely sudden invasions of my personal space. Work is stressful enough and my manager doesn’t have any understanding of personal space because she is affable and touchy and grew up in a house where you reach out and lightly smack another every time you say something you feel is remotely funny for some reason. One more closing in on my space makes me feel sick.

I’ve been known to say things that are entirely inappropriate. Hell, it’s my specialty. I don’t say these things in a comedic kind of way, though–oh no. I have to be awkward as hell. I have to turn a shade of puce when I talk and look suspicious because I fidget and lose eye contact.

Facepalm.

But, it’s okay. It happens. The best thing to do I have found in this situation is to just keep your mouth shut and try to think what it is you want to say rather than actually say it, even if you do feel it is relevant, because it probably is not.

It helps, it really, really helps, to have a conscious rein on things. My rein is “okay it’s time to go hide inside and knit for days upon days now.”

derp

March 20, 2013

And fuck if I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. Is alienation a symptom of bipolar disorder or am I just paranoid right now? That “no one understands me, baw” feeling. Ugh, I hate it, it is pretentious, but fuck if I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere.

But you know. Bawww, whine, whatever. I was raised to believe that nothing I said had merit and people don’t pay me any mind anyway, so I don’t feel as if talking about this feeling is–well, let’s just say that when I feel this way, another voice tells me “shut up, cuntface, who the fuck gives a shit” which is true, completely true, wholly true.

surprise

March 18, 2013

I just had such an enormous and heart-hurting pang of emotion that tears sprung and a sob escaped before I had even realized what had happened.

I was told this tonight, so I did, and I realized I was in the grip of a euphoria that was threatening to overrun me. It started with the news about the Higgs Boson certainty, that scientists were 99% sure they had witnessed an actual Higgs Boson particle–this floored me. I was alight with wonder and happiness, and literally nothing has bothered me since then.

When I came home I put a movie on even before I changed out of my work uniform. Zero silence tolerance, though there is zero silence in the house anyway, what with the cycling of a fish tank or two. Sometimes silence is wonderful, and sometimes, on days like these, it is not.

My brain is whirling. I’m still in wonder. A Higgs Boson!

No longer a theory–now we know.

Cannabis is helping wonderfully. I’m settled. I may not be able to decide on what I want to do, or what I want to say or see or–well, whatever–but I’m remaining seated. I’m not going out and doing crazy things.

Like I want to.

Higgs Boson.

about a high

March 8, 2013

As with anything you imbibe to induce a high, you sometimes get a little loopy. Too much cannabis makes me dizzy and quiet, because that level of high that is meant for sitting down and thinking deeply. There are many nuances of high that I have noticed in my experience of using, and as usual there are many different highs for the different types of cannabis just as there are for different types of cannabis products, such as edibles or topical applications. Cannabis comes in all kinds of shapes–food, lotion, lip balm, spray, plant, the possibilities are wide and far.

The high that is necessary for me to be able to function is a level of high that I try to maintain throughout my day, barring work. I have a flexible work schedule that keeps me at five hour shifts with a few eight hours here and there; this allows me to keep my stress levels down and my working levels up, so that I get in actual exercise in a day, which is very important. It also means that I am never too long without my medicine. I carry my pills with me everywhere unless I have already taken my dosage. I do not carry cannabis with me out of the house unless I am on an extended trip or running an errand that takes longer than an hour. On this note, I do not find that my driving is in any way inhibited after smoking cannabis–in fact, I am a very defensive driver who pays excellent attention to the road. I think that cannabis’s influence has gotten me to slow down and pay more attention than I did, and it keeps me from floating off into la-la-land.

I smoke throughout the day as I can, maintaining a level of alertness without being introverted. Yes, cannabis changes my thinking–I am more vocal after smoking, more creative, sometimes comedic, all of the time joyous. Cannabis brings a middling-out to my moods almost immediately. If there is depression, I start thinking differently after smoking, and it ebbs away. If I am euphoric or manic, the cannabis slows me down and brings me back to a focused, manageable current.

It also chases away all insomnia. Think about that for a moment: no insomnia, at all, for a bipolar person. Whoa. I can’t describe to you the senseless hours spent trying to get to sleep, trying desperately to stay asleep, being unable to sleep because the dreams are not letting you sleep, being unable to sleep for longer than hour periods–and waking at each interval. All of that is gone in just three tokes from my pipe.

I pass out and sleep like a baby.

I get regular 8-hour sleep because of cannabis. I think that in itself is one of the top reasons why I smoke. No medicine, no other alternative practice, can give me pure, dreamless, uninterrupted healthy sleep like cannabis can. It is a fucking miracle.

The effect of cannabis is immediate. It is the most wonderful, flowing feeling. Granted, for first-timers, it might not work. That’s normal–you have to keep trying. Believe me, it will hit. It worked for Carl Sagan, and he had to try almost seven times to experience it. Cannabis is not a scary substance in any way. It is not unhealthy, it is not cancerous. It’s a medicine. And it does so much good for so many patients.

I have a MTWThFSaS pill box for my weed. I’m serious about treating it like medicine. If I show others by example that I consider this a part of my medication routine and not a drug to fool around with, perhaps some good might come of that. Unfortunately I have to do so anonymously for now, but maybe one day I’ll be able to stand up confidently without worry of losing my livelihood and say, I use medicinal cannabis, and I love the fuck out of it.

sriracha chips

March 7, 2013

One of the things I hate most about bipolar disorder is that constant, nagging inability to socialize appropriately, followed by the constant, nagging worry that you’ve just pissed someone way the hell off. It feels worse than it is, usually, and sometimes you’re right, you have pissed them off, but most of the time you tend to be wrong, because you don’t know how to tell if someone is mad at you or concentrating really hard on something else, or if someone is just irritated in general.

Then you feel horrible about feeling that way, as if you were flattering yourself by believing you were important enough to make a person mad at you.

I was raised in a home that refused to believe in psychotherapy, that believed I was poorly behaved instead. The way my mother and stepfather dealt with this was to use mental and verbal abuse so powerfully that I would eventually come to believe that I was everything horrible that they told me I was. I don’t have the greatest self esteem as a result, but what’s more, people don’t know this when they look at me. I can’t explain it to just anyone, either. One does not go around in their daily life expressing the fact that they came from mental abuse. One merely picks up and moves on, and only explains this fact when bad behavior comes out. I feel very strongly that abuse is misused in order to garner attention, so I try not to mention my own unless someone asks me. I’m open about the subject, but I would rather not offer it.

Mental abuse is also one of those weird things that I feel does not get the same kind of attention as physical abuse because it doesn’t leave visual scarring (unless the victim is driven to self-harm, as many are). I could be wrong, for the times, they are a-changin’.

Sometimes I hate it when people tell me “I wouldn’t know you were bipolar to look at you.” You aren’t observant.

Sometimes, I like it. It means I’ve done a brilliant job of functioning properly and behaving well. It means I haven’t used the wrong words or said something entirely inappropriate, or had any tics or any sudden fury which sometimes takes hold and then passes just as soon as it arrives.

I am smoking right now. I feel that it helps me access memories that I wouldn’t normally remember; not what happened that day, or even yesterday or the day before, but things that happened a long time ago that I wasn’t aware I had forgotten. I have an amazing capacity for short-term memory, but long-term is much more difficult. Even yesterdays can be challenging. I mark days by remembering details like what I ate or what I wrote, or what I wore. Other things get mixed up and lost in a big mess, but I get to pull out specific things from this mess when I imbibe cannabis. Right now I am remembering my birthday at Six Flags. I wore a green shirt, blue jean shorts, white socks and tennis shoes. I was with my dad and my sister. We ate turkey legs and my dad forced me to ride the rides even though I balked stubbornly enough to go out and sit in the parking lot for the rest of the time. I am really glad he did, because I loved them all. I realized that you can’t think too much about what you’re about to do, even if you wait in line for an hour to get on a thirty-second ride, because otherwise you’ll just never do it. You’ll let fear tell you to run away. I did it. I got into each coaster seat like a person going to their death. It was amazing.

I love my dad. He’s a cool guy. He, like the rest of my family live about 2500 miles away from me, which I feel is a perfectly safe distance. I don’t own a phone, and I don’t often contact my family. Not out of any kind of hate, or embarrassment of them. I feel it’s better that I sequester myself from them. It is safer, and it is much healthier for me, as well. There are certain family members I do not care to ever see again because I feel they are too unhealthy to be around.

I think that’s a sad bundle of thoughts to think, but the nature of things is real, and I accept that willingly enough.

I like to be alone. I always have. The inability to socialize well turned me very misanthropic, but after searching around a while, I managed to find a community that I can be relatively okay with. It’s a community of strange and unusual folk, but I myself am strange and unusual. I had to go find a place that would be okay with me, just as okay as I was with it. Mutual agreements.

I think that’s all that life is, really, just a matter of finding your bee people.

decisions

March 4, 2013

Mania will lessen in emphasis over time. Eventually it will turn to a middle ground, and soon, depression. Thankfully I’ve just gotten over a big depressive turn, so…here’s hoping the depression is still on vacation. Mania isn’t gone so much as it is not as present in the forefront, which is appreciated as much as it can be. There are so many things I can get done when I’m in this mood, but my biggest challenge is deciding on what.

At work, it’s easy to make this decision. There are always things to do, and they need to get done before a certain time. At home, I’m surrounded by an endless complexity of arts, crafts, books, musical fascinations, video games and movies, things that tear my attention away from the last thing and get it focused for something new. I can even go outside and entertain sidewalk chalk delusions on the front porch, take a walk, take pictures. Hell, I want to do all of these things. But which do I want to do most? And first? Can I make a list? What if making the list takes too long and I don’t get around to doing what I wanted to do?

Sometimes, I just start somewhere. Anywhere will do. When I end is when I end.

mania

March 3, 2013

Yesterday, I had a full-blown manic phase happen, which I am still experiencing. I was going to write “fighting” or maybe “getting over” but I do neither of those things when I’m in a manic phase. I don’t fight it, I let it happen, and I don’t get over it. I’ll never just “get over it”.

I speak dramatically in order to emphasize importance; not to emphasize drama. Bipolar people have the unlucky disadvantage in that they’re so very…interestingly behaved that they’re mistaken often for being badly behaved, or overly-dramatic, attention-seeking, etc. This is quite unfair. The stigma attached to mental illness is something that will have to be continuously overcome; but through calm explanations, I’m sure we might be able to handle it confidently.

Mania comes in many different forms. I’d been feeling this mania creeping up on me for some time now–that’s the thing with my meds, see, I am afforded an objective look at my mood swings, and they creep up much more slowly, with less explosive impact. However, what I can’t help, I can’t help! Mania happens and I have to let it go, because I don’t have any choice in the matter.

Yesterday I worked out some of the signs of my mania with my best friend, whom I live with. Over our weekly treat of Mexican food, I had several tics. I fidgeted terribly. I knew I was and in some cases, like when I was eating, I tried to make the fidgeting into a flow, wherein I didn’t stop moving, but I moved without needing to pick at things like the table or my bottom lip or my fingernails or wring my hands or the napkin or look around and shake or jiggle my legs. I have a hard time keeping eye contact, or staring at other people in general–not that they’re scary, I just don’t know them, and I don’t want to know them, and maybe my friend knows them and that means I’ll have to get to know them, and that in itself is scary. I stuttered a little bit in the car.

That night after I got home from work (where I never stopped moving–work is fast-paced, which is good) my friend was listening to Vocaloids, one of her favorite bands. She promised me it was a short playlist, so I agreed to listen to it. I don’t like the Vocaloids. I don’t like the music at all. It doesn’t flow. It has no logical melody except in one or two songs and the beat drives me insane. Unhelpfully, I become a music Nazi when I have episodes like this. Also unhelpfully, I have zero concept of time. After three songs I thought, we have to be completely through the playlist by now, and I asked my friend if we could listen to something else.

Apparently I looked wild-eyed and begging, as if her music were the worst thing in the world, because we immediately had a little fight about it. We don’t have big fights, not anymore. I like to think we’re past that point, or hope we are. Little fights happen now, and it’s mostly over when I need to step back and realize that I’m being bipolar; sometimes it’s when she needs to step back and be tolerant of my being bipolar. Either way, we always manage to work it out and hug afterward, and compromise. We compromised by listening to something we both liked, which was the amazing Koji Kondo and the Hyrule Symphony Orchestra. I desperately needed something orchestral, anything at all would do.

I obsessed consistently over a Facebook comment. I just had to go back and check and see if there were any more comments. There were. Excellent, I hate wasting my time, even seconds of it, when I am manic.

Hmm, what else. Ah yes–I am also pushy. So pushy. We had to watch or do things that I was going to be okay with. I hate that, I think it makes me sound horrible and makes me horrible to be with, but the important thing during this time is to make compromises, I’ve learned. However hard it is to do so.

A lot of the time I feel so much like a child. I have to keep remembering that there is a great deal of miscommunication between my amygdala and the rest of my brain; my friend has to remember it, too, and though she’s worn thin by stress from work, oh my GOD TIME WARP JUST CAME ON THE IPOD, DANCE PARTY, she never fails to be supportive and tolerant. Bless her bones.

LEEET’S DO

THE TIME WARP

AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN

God I love this song. The euphoria it induces is ridiculous, like a drug. I love dancing to it, I love freaking out to it, I love singing to it, and I love air-guitaring to it.

I’m going to listen to this again and dance with a cat.

Oh right, I should probably bring medical cannabis into this at some point. I guess I can describe it like riding passenger in a Formula 1 race but being in complete control of the car. Without cannabis, I am not in control of the car, just the passenger. With cannabis, I can direct the vehicle while it is at top fucking speed.

And it’s kind of awesome.

Werk

March 3, 2013

Every day, I get high before I go to work. Obviously no one is aware of this, another reason why I write this anonymously. Before work, I have about a bowl load (I prefer smoking from pipes) or so, and listen to music which is very soothing in order to induce a state of calm and readiness. I go to work and I put myself wholly into what I’m doing, and no one knows any differently.

I’ve never said this aloud before, or to anyone.