I don’t really talk about the details of my mental illness here a lot. When I do mention it, it’s kind of in an oblique way. But tonight I’m going to talk about some really personal things.
I have bipolar disorder, which while I’m on a great couple of meds that keep me feeling pretty good most days, I do occasionally experience what’s called hypomania. Literally, “below mania.” It’s like being able to have super focus, really get into tasks, get all the things done. It’s sleeping a little less, but because you’re not really manic, and that string of depression is still there, you’re still in control and able to steer the boat. You’re still taking care of yourself, eating meals, getting enough sleep, bathing. You’re driven to succeed, and the more you get done, the more you need to do more.
And after a few days, maybe a week, it stops. Now you’ve got the motivation of a sleepy sloth and maybe you will sleep for 12 hours because there’s no real reason to get out of bed.
This is a real thing for me. I just spent 4 days hypomanic and after coming home tonight, I crashed into the don’t cares. But before I crashed, let me tell you what I did.
- I went to a special sale at my moms work, which was kind of like a mini Black Friday. Between my mom and I, we came home with a lot of stuff.
- I went through all the stuff and divided it into 5 categories. For Tracy, for Jami, for Jessica, for myself, and to be stashed for future giving.
- I put everything away that I was going to keep. Not only did I put things away, I reorganized half of my craft room because once I started moving things around, a light went on showing me how I could make everything better.
- As I worked to reorganize, I started pulling stuff aside to be donated to thrift. As it stands right now, the entire backseat of my car is filled with donations. I didn’t stop at just my craft room. I went through all my clothing, my entire closet, things on shelves in my room. I also selected some things to offer up for free to my online friends.
- I did 5 or 6 loads of dishes, several loads of laundry, collected the recycling from around the kitchen, and bagged up several kitchen trash bags full of trash. I put the old lemons down the disposal and I cooked a couple meals.
- I visited with our neighbors. They’re great people, but I tend to keep to myself, so being social like that is also tied into hypomania for me.
- I worked for several hours on projects. I framed a big project I finished a while ago. I removed some listings from my shop and added others.
And it all came to an end today after taking a big exam in class. I was suddenly exhausted, and had to make myself gas up the car and head home. Once I got home, I heated some leftovers and crawled into bed to watch Netflix. Hypomania over. I don’t even want to get up to pee.
So why am I telling you all this? Because this is how I work. I can’t do anything for weeks and then, if I’m “lucky,” an episode comes on and I get everything done. I make new art. I make jewelry. I stitch some stuff up.
Right now I’m currently taking one single course at a community college. Next semester I’ll be taking two. And two the next semester. And then I’ll be going full time to learn the skills needed to become an MLT. I’m excited but I know it’s going to be hard. I’m going to have days where I just can’t do it. But I want this and I want to put myself in a better place financially. I want to be a functional member of society who is self sufficient.
But I’m taking it one day at a time. Baby steps.
I’m pretty sure I’m in the middle of a hypomanic thing right now. The last few nights time has really gotten away from me, I’ve stayed up way too late, slept way too late, and have been happily cleaning and cooking.
Thursday I started picking up trash to get rid of, and took I think two bags full out to the barrel. I collected some things for donation, and I selected more dvds to be sold or later donated. I made chicken thighs cooked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, rice that was cooked in the droppings, and a small salad for my mom and I.
Friday I did more cleaning, and made chef’s salads for us for dinner. I fought the urge to bake bread at midnight. I took the playpen, and other chick brooder accoutrements outside to clean the space back up in my craft room.
Today I’ve swept the craft room, wiped the dust and dirt from my sewing machine and table, wiped the dust off of my bass, guitar & djembe (poor neglected things), and started straightening out the desk. I made potato soup for us for dinner and we both had seconds. Yum! I took some more donations out to my car too.
I still plan to put some jewelry away and put my laundry away tonight and maybe do some other small cleaning tasks.
After finding out about my additional diagnosis, I spent the next 24 hours or so wracked by intense anxiety. I’m honestly not sure if that was what brought it on or not, but it was rough. I wanted to do anything to change how I was feeling, but Liz convinced me not to do anything (at least not make any decisions except to possibly take a Klonopin) until the anxiety had passed.
The next day I woke up sick. The cold Mattie brought home last week found its new home in me and ugh. I felt like death warmed over. But that’s all crappy stuff.
The good news is I got a letter from Social Security and they are reinstating my SSI payments and will review me again in 3 years. I’m also feeling a lot better today, so that’s good too. 🙂
So on Wednesday, Dept. of Mental Health called me up and asked me to come in on Friday for an evaluation. I wasn’t totally thrilled about this, but whatever… I’d get through it.
On Thursday night I discovered that DMH has a patient portal website and you can view your records, test results, etc. I signed up, but needed an access code to actually get full functionality.
Friday I went in and met with a really nice woman. She was friendly without trying to be my friend, professional, and straight to the point. She made me as comfortable as possible considering all the things that were asked. The evaluation interview took about 90 minutes and I was out of mental energy at the end of it, but I mentioned a lot of things I had held back before and things my psych Dr. is still unaware of. I basically spilled everything because I figured once its out there, I can either explain it or not, but I can’t unsay it, and I have so many problems I really should be discussing with my Dr but I just don’t.
At the end she asked if there was anything I wanted to do to add to my treatment, like therapy, and I said yes. I said yes to therapy! I meet with her again next week to either definitely become one of her patients, which is what I am hoping for, or to find out whose patient I will become. Either way I’m both nervous and looking forward to it because there are so many things I need to work through. The whole thing was stressful, but I made it through and I think it will be for the better.
When I came home, I logged into the patient portal and input my access code and I found this under my diagnosis:
This is super interesting to me because never in the 8 or 9 years I’ve been going there has anyone ever mentioned Borderline Personality Disorder. Its also a tiny bit funny because this is what I self-diagnosed myself with via the internet before I ever went in to the DMH to get help.
Reading over the information on it on a government site, I’m pretty much a textbook case… and Liz pointed out that it can be hard if not impossible to tell a person with a personality disorder that they have one, but damn it! I need all the information! Gimme!
So in short, weird new-to-me diagnosis feelings, excited and scared to start therapy, but super glad to hopefully start working through some shit and move forward.
I struggle with mental illness. I’m Bipolar, plus a hefty dose of its accompanying depression. I’m fully med-compliant, and I recently did a year of therapy; my therapist was amazing.
I have 2 betta fish, 5 aquatic snails, some shrimp, 2 German Shepherd x Belgian Malinois pups named Yuba & Tejony, and my cat named Mildred. There’s also a gosling with her duckling friends, aka Gertrude and the Webbies. I live with my mom and her boyfriend, following the end of my previous almost 8 year relationship.
I enjoy all sorts of crafts, but especial yarncraft and jewelry. I sell some of my things I’ve made on my other site, Kittyloaf Designs.
I’m currently rediscovering who I really am. This has manifested in ways such as getting a lazyhawk, really delving into self-care, getting the body mods I’ve wanted for years, making new friends, and exploring kink. It means along with therapy, I feel like I’m finally blooming into the amazing woman I’m supposed to be.
I’m fat. I’m not saying that in a body-shaming way. Its merely an adjective that fits my large body. I’m working with my therapist to get into the right headspace to hopefully want to lose weight (again) and get fit and healthy.
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