bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for January, 2008

Xanax users UNITE!

Today has been a really good day.  My daughter ended up staying home today due to a nasty cold.  Yesterday, that would have put me on the ledge of a tall, tall building.  But, today, it wasn’t bad at all.  She wasn’t too needy, which helped immensely.  I took my Xanax every four hours and so far so good.

I found out a few people I know use Xanax once in awhile or “as needed” as my bottle says.  It really does a good job of releasing the tension or anxiety.  I don’t know if it was around when the Rolling Stones sang “Mother’s Little Helper,” but it would probably apply here.  I just don’t plan on needing daily for the rest of my life.  But, hey, the plan isn’t really up to me, is it?  I’ll just keep an open mind.

Like most of my friends, I like to have at least a little control over my life.  But right now, everything is up in the air.  I don’t like not being able to plan even a few days ahead, but I can certainly live with that for awhile.

Good news is that my hubby is coming home on an earlier flight tonight, so God willing, he’ll be here before 7, when Lost begins!!!!  I am in some serious need for some Sawyer, if you know what I mean.  🙂

Well, Scarlett?

My dad had suggested yesterday that maybe I should get up and take a Xanax regardless of how I felt.  I thought that was a good idea, so I did that this morning.  I had a short crying spell an hour or so later, but nothing to analyze.  Then, took my morning nap, had lunch with my folks, started to unload the dishwasher for my mom, then WHAMMO!  Meltdown.  It hit so fast I didn’t have time to get the Xanax.  I was disappointed.  Frustrated.  Sad.  This is four days in a row of issues.  My friend, Karen asked if I had asked the doctors about “rapid-cycling.”  I have never heard of that, so I will ask my therapist that on Friday.

My dad was trying to help by saying, “Don’t look at next month, just concentrate on next week or even Saturday.”  I said that I felt like I couldn’t even face tomorrow.  What had happened to my pattern of two bad days, five good days? 

My parents are awesome.  They sat down with me (after a Xanax) and tried to help me figure out what was going on and how to possibly prevent it.  They asked tons of questions and we came up with this idea:  I am going to try taking a Xanax every 4 hours tomorrow and see what that does.  I took a Xanax this evening 4 hours after my meltdown and I’m feeling good.  Coincidence?  I don’t know. 

I’m going to try this idea tomorrow.  I guess I’m kind of a lab rat.  My friend, Christine, actually used a lab rat in college and asked if she could keep him, and she did.  So, I guess all rats aren’t ugly.  I’d like to think that Christine would want to adopt me after doing experiments on me.

Okay, I was half right……

My last blog earlier this morning was so positive, that I hesitate to write this one.  But, I think it’s theraputic for me.  Might as well bring you all down with me!  😉

This afternoon I hit a brick wall, I guess.  I had a great morning, and then WHAMMMO!  I went to Walgreen’s and as I drove home, my chest started to feel heavy, and that’s a sign that depression is on it’s way.  Bummer.  I did all I could do to try to head it off, took a Xanax, made myself some hot chocolate, read the Bible, played the piano, but no. 

Thank God for my parents.  I talked to them on their cell phones (they were out and about) and they headed over.  They asked if the kids and I wanted to come over and spend the night.  I thought about it for about two seconds.  Even as we were all going to the trouble of packing up our stuff, I kept telling myself that it would be worth it.  And, it definitely has been.  I’m sitting here updating my blog while my mom is helping my daughter with her homework and my son is at Boy Scouts.  I’m not sure I could have handled it alone.  I’m very grateful that I did not have to find out.

I know I have friends that are wanting to help.  Tell me to call them anytime.  If you are reading this, I am going to try to explain it.  When I get in these modes, I don’t want to talk at all.  Not to anyone.  It seems like such an effort.  I don’t care who you are.  When I come to my parents, I just sit around and read, watch TV, whatever.  I don’t talk.  Those of you that know me probably find that very hard to believe.  I know I found it strange myself when I realized it. 

My folks offered to take us all out to dinner and I just don’t want to be around people.  I don’t think that is that uncommon with this disorder. 

I do want you all to know that I don’t sit around and worry or feel sorry for myself.  I just try to ride through it and hope for the best the next day.

What I still need now are prayers.  Prayers for me and my family.  Just tonight I started crying hard and my daughter whispered something to my mom.  My mom said to her, “You know why she’s doing that, right?”  My daughter just smiled at me and said, “Yeah, I’m used to it.”  That made me happy and sad at the same time.  I’m glad she knows that she didn’t do anything to cause me to cry, but I’m sad that she has to witness this as often as she does.  So, add to your prayers the wisdom of my doctors so that my family isn’t having to mess with this for much longer.

Well, Scarlett, tomorrow is another day.

I Was Right!

Yep.  Two bad days and I feel much better today.  

According to my pattern, things go up from here.  And, I must, must, must get my sleep.

For those of you that have called today, again, please don’t feel ignored.  It’s just that on my first good day, I don’t feel like talking either.  I enjoy the silence before the kids come home.  No radio on.  Just a little TV.  Then back to good ol’ silence. 

The other thing I’ve learned….I have wonderful friends.  People that check up on me.  People that understand that sometimes I just don’t feel like doing anything.  People that read this blog just to see how I’m doing today.  So, to them…  “HI!  I’m good!  Thanks for checking!” 

So, according to my calculator on my computer, if my pattern stays the same, that means that 71% of my week will be “good.”  That’s a C minus.  Hmmmm.  I could do better, don’t you think? 

Yuck. Another bad two days.

Well, let’s try to look on the bright side.  Usually, I have two bad days a week, and they do usually come in a row.  So, maybe I’m over them for the week.  These two days were tougher than usual, though.  Lots of crying.  And just general heaviness.  I don’t want to talk to anyone.  I spent some time with my folks today since I can be myself with them.  Even though, I’m sure having someone sitting around depressed isn’t a big moment of their day.  But, as my mom explained, if I were here at home, she would still be sad for me.  So, she’d rather I wasn’t alone.  Who am I to argue?  I don’t have the strength.  I took an hour nap and felt good right after I got up.  But, then depression hit within an hour.

So, if you called me today, and I haven’t returned your call, please don’t take it personally.  I just feel like crap.  And talking about it makes it worse.  Oh yeah, and my hubby left for Chicago until Thursday.  And, I don’t want my kids to see me all depressed, so I try to “put on” for them for a little bit, then head off into another room to be myself for awhile.

Manic? Or Just a Good Day?

Yesterday was amazing.  I woke up and had several things happen that would normally be triggers for a breakdown or at least a need for Xanax.  Things that would even make a “normal” person go, “ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHH! You’ve got to be kidding me!!!!”  But, incredibly, I felt nothing.  I was calm.  I told myself, “It’s no big deal.”  And, I realized with each incident, that it really was not a big deal! 

So, once the kids were out the door and to school, I felt elated, to say the least.  I was meeting a friend for breakfast, then another friend for lunch, and several friends for a crop that evening.  I had several things to look forward to, several errands to run, and without a second thought, I took off in the car.  People cut me off, I smiled.  (It actually happened so many times yesterday morning, I laughed.  Not maniacally, but light-hearted.)  

At this point, I called my parents and told them I was having a great day.  I said, “I don’t know if it’s just a great day or a little mania, but I’m going to enjoy the ride while it lasts.” 

I got to hit several stores before breakfast.  Even went into Sam’s to pick up my photos, but it was too early and the Photo Center was still closed.  “Oh, well, no big deal. I can go back later.”  I moved on.

When my friend and I had breakfast, I know I did not do all the talking.  I asked her questions, listened to her stories, and laughed.  A lot.

Finished up my errands, met my friend for lunch.  Again, I did not babble.  (I don’t think I did, at least.)  I listened as well as talked.  We even had some moments of silence as we enjoyed our lobster bisque and I didn’t feel the need to fill that with humorous stories of my incredible life. 

Came home, talked with the kids, took a shower, hubby came home, and I laid down for a nap.  Took a very short one.  Made dinner for the family, and still felt fabulous! 

I went to the crop and set a time to leave, so that I wouldn’t be paying for it this morning.  (Not enough sleep = bad bad day later)  I had a wonderful time and again noticed I did not monopolize the conversation.  (Of course, my friends read this blog and will probably correct me in the comments, so we’ll see if I am right or just imagined the whole “perfect guest” thing)  I left pretty close to my scheduled time, came home and went to bed. 

And excellent, awesome, fabulous day, to say the least.  I haven’t felt this good in a long time.  I’ve decided not to analyze it.  After all, right after I left the looney bin, the psychiatrist said, “It’s a grey area when trying to figure out if you are just in a great mood or slightly manic.  The difference is that after the manic episode will come the depression.”  All righty, then. 

So far so good.  Of course, I haven’t even had my coffee.  And all my “triggers” have left the house for the morning.  If nothing else, it was a good ride while it lasted!

Funny or Inappropriate?

Recently I was surfing the web and found sweatshirts with sayings on them about being bipolar.  Some of them were serious, some were humorous, and some were downright strange.  I was fixated on one that said:

“My doctor tells me I’m bipolar and that makes me so sad happy sad.”

I thought it was hilarious!  My hubby says he doesn’t know why I would want to wear a shirt like that.  My mother agrees.  (My father hasn’t weighed in on the subject, but I am going to guess that he would agree with my mom on this one.)  Now, let me explain my husband’s point of view (and I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong).  He doesn’t see why anyone would wear a shirt promoting an illness.  This includes diabetes, breast cancer, or bipolar disorder.  And, in general, he’s not a wearer of t-shirts with sayings.  My mom’s opinion was that it made fun of the disease and the pink breast cancer ones do not.  So, you see, neither one of them had a problem with the shirt (or me) being bipolar.

So, I’m wondering.  Do I buy the shirt?  I explained to my mom that I could buy a serious one, but that just isn’t me.  I am a humorous person (I think) and as you all know, I’m treating this with a light heart when I can.  I had a bad day yesterday and today started out crummy.  But things got better today after my nap.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad for taking me to lunch.)  I just seem to have this heavy weight on me all day, but that’s not so awful. 

Anyway, back to the shirt.  I think it’s funny and it’s not like I would wear it as a uniform every single day.  (There was another one I liked that said, “And this is me ON my medication!”  But, I liked the other one better and two might be pushing it.)

So what do you think?

And, if you are interested in funny or cute t-shirts, coffee mugs, coasters, etc. check out www.cafepress.com where I found this shirt.  For those of you who love the news and like to laugh at it, there’s one that says, “Don’t tase me, bro!”  Of course, they have ones for the politically minded and supporters of each candidate, but who knows how long you could wear it before it became a rag with which to wash your car?

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