spoke, cried and sang in meeting today.
Did not know I was sad until I started to speak.
We are teaching about semi permeable membrane’s in biology right now. I started thinking about the value of having a thin but powerful layer that protects you from the outside world.
The semi permeable membrane thoughtfully lets things in like connections with other humans.
Helpfully keeps things out like other people stresses and things that really shouldn’t concern you.
And then for its best trick of all, it helps to hold the good things inside and only helps you eliminate the things you don’t need.
I don’t have that. I have a hard shell. If I let anything in, I have to let everything in. It makes it hard to connect. It makes it hard to express myself.
I can’t stay closed inside forever. I have to make openings with my hard show. I have to let things in and out. But when I do that, I do so unprotected. I am vulnerable to everything and have no filter.
It is scary. It is not safe. I don’t like it.
I wanted this to be a coherent message. It was a message, I knew that because my heart pounded in my hands shook while I waited to accept the unwanted microphone.
instead I began by crying, I proceeded crying, and I finished crying.
I had a song inside (didn’t even know what it was) that needed to come out but I was too sad. So I sat down again.
After someone else spoke, this song made its appearance. So even though it goes against protocol for one person to deliver two messages at meeting, my message came as part two.
And I sang loud.
Seems like the overall level of mood is lifting. Even in the Downs there are good and bad moments. The weather.
fewer crying jags. One day at work having trouble making eye contact, but only until I started teaching.
I love my job.
I don’t love taking lurasidone yet. It makes me feel oddly sluggish and super tired . Which I suppose should be fine but it feels weird. And unpleasant.
daylight savings time starts. Maybe this zombie drug will help with that transition.
nade a new cuff with stylized norepinephrine molecule. It is comfortable.
talked with a friend about how maddening it is to try and tease out what parts of me are “symptomatic” and she raised an interesting point: does it matter?
Tired comes on fast now, like a locomotive. So signing off.
200 mg lamotrigine
20 mg lurasidone
I spent yesterday at home with all three of my children also did not have school due to a late winter ice storm.
I spent the day sitting on my bed beading a new cuff that has designs to represent the norepinephrine molecule.
It’s a neurotransmitter. It’s one that I don’t have enough of. So I figure if I have a few extra on my wrist and they’re really giant maybe that will help.
all I want to do is bead.
what pattern does this follow? What mood state am I in when all I want to do is bead?
My coworker that I jokingly refer to as my “workplace accommodation” is going through some rough times now
which means I need to not rely on her since she needs to be able to lean on me.
luckily I have a deep bench at work. Back up supports. And even if I don’t need anything in particular from anyone, knowing that they are there is a comfort.
Stronger than comfort.
Picked up lurasidone to start officially today. No more bupropion after reviewing my history since it fizzled out before.
I feel wrung out. Physically drained. Tired to the point of tears.
i have spent all day wanting to bead and now that I am home and could do so... I haven’t the strength to pick up a needle nor sight to guide the thread.
when people ask how I’m doing I tell them how my coworker is doing. Which is not what they are asking.
But it is what I am worried about now. That I need to be stronger than I am... not even so I can be a support for her... but so I am not just another thing she needs to take care of.
I am sad.
cuz there is the pressure of being Perfekt and I’m so obviously not.
and then the trap of seeing your children as way more part of you than they actually are.
like their mistakes are my mistakes.
their troubles are my troubles.
i should have made different decisions but I didn’t and now I feel like
Monstrous Parenting Failure
welcomed home elderboy by unloading all my parental stress over my not being more proactive still with academic organization
which is not my natural strength either but I figured it out enough to get good grades and keep a job so I’m making it all about me.
now I am never going to leave my room because I don’t want to make more mistakes.
especially when your offspring exhibit symptoms too.
The others loosed the cables, and coming aboard themselves took places at the pins. A favorable wind clear-eyed Athene sent, a brisk west wind that sang along the wine-dark sea.
So if I am waking on a Saturday and searching Homer for references to Athene clear-eye, Athene with the flashing eyes, grey-eyed Athene...
It is because I feel clear of eye. And somewhat sharp if mind. Yesterday I even put together a brainstormed proposal for a class... which takes the kind of creative leaps and academic connections my sluggish Depressed brain cannot hope to make.
Now is when I have to fight the urge to look back and pull myself down over all the things I did not do when the Deoression was at its most acute.
I was able to take care of me. And (mostly) stuff at work. No extras. No art. No photographs. No carting my children around to their extras.
I am not under the delusion that I am out of the Depressed woods yet. And we all know this is the gift that bipolar will keep on giving. But this morning, and much of yesterday (except toward the end) I feel more my able self.
I am on day 3 on lurasidone that my psych NP has me keep on hand for treatment of acute Depressive episodes.
I think it has helped my brain course-correct. But I hope not to be on it long term. I wasn’t last time. Summer 2016 I was on for about 1 month and just kind of let it run out. And things stYed fine so psych NP sAid I could stay off unless needed.
One thing I don’t like is that it knocks me out. Very drowsy. Almost like I’m coming out of general anasthesia.
Also it needs to be taken with 350 calories. So I either eat it with dinner and become a zombie (nearly fell asleep during band 2 hours after taking it on thursday) or I eat a giant before bed snack.
Called psych NP re meds but she rang back on my never used home number. Will talk on Monday. She played continued use of lurasidone but I will run out on Monday.
Hoping it’s not like Flowers for Algernon. I like being able to think.
200 mg lamotrigine
29 mg lurasidone
Not like hunger-games type survival... or scaling mountains survival. No supplemental oxygen required.
It’s more like practical life skills for camping in the woods. Common sense type stuff. But for Depression.
Last night cried a bunch while trying to get to sleep and the tears dropped into my ears.
This is morning I thought I’d have an hour or so to steel myself to face the day with people... but then realized I had a meeting and needed to pull myself together in 4 minutes.
Which started up a miserable crying jag.
These are not the survival skills. These are the things that I have to navigate in my Depression camping trip.
(Gotta remember to tie the food up in a tree so the bears don’t get at it. Or you.)
I am not a danger to myself or others.
I am just successfully navigating the whitewaters of the Downs.
Because I am not alone. I got people. I have the best people. They have skills. I am no fool trying to summit Everest alone. Not alone. And nowhere near Everest.
This is is a bonus of not being manic while Depressed. I can plan some things. I can think of strategies. Or at the very least think of people who might have strategies.
Took the FB app off my phone, but I do check in sometimes and see posts on my posts from F/friends who support me from afar.
Telling people I am not doing well is infinitely better than trying to hide all symptoms and pretending to be fine.
It would be so much harder to get help or feel supported if I hid. Here are some things I would have missed
A supportive note from a friend written on a turquoise sticky-note.
Another friend mentioned how much she appreciated how open I am about all this crap.
(Because if no one talks about mental health crap, we don’t realize how normal it is to have mental health crap that you need to deal with at some time or another.)
I asked my director if she could mention to me that I am not a rubbish teacher. She knows why. She’s been near my shoes. (Also had her chew out my obnoxious 4th period students who have taxed my end-of-day reserves.)
I don’t want to be alone right now but only because I know that hiding under the covers by myself in a dark room is not a great way to kick Depression’s bony ass.
Otherwise the warm dark cave sounds like a great plan. Until I am eaten by bears.
I talked to the acquaintance who told me they could never date someone with bipolar... (see previous posts).
We have stuff in common. They seem like a nice enough person. And even when I am Depressed I can have many non-horrible moments of regular humanness and casual conversation.
I figure this is part of my slow education of a person who doesn’t know much about mental health crap—especially bipolar.
I figure if this person (through a series of harmless interactions bit by bit) can see that I am a fully functioning human in most ways for enough of the time... their ignorance might gradually fade.
Writing this makes me feel better. I’m Sad but my brain feels more connected.
Maybe this is a side-effect of the lifting of brain fog. That first the fog lifts. And then the mood slowly rises as well.
Slow is good. Manic is the opposite of slow and not the desired goal of medicating for the Depression.
200 mg lamotrigine
150 mg bupropion (remembering in morning now)
I have a band concert on Saturday. It is in Hinkley. Hinkley er veldig langt herfra. I’ll invite people to closer ones.
started day yelly at elderboy over stupid persistent adolescent crap.
forgot my keys at home
had disastrous first hour (tech glitches) and felt like I should be fired because I was a rubbish teacher for not having everything run smoothly.
it was not smooth.
(cried unnoticeably in in the corner between classes)
texted Spouse for moral support
class at end of day filled with middle school boys who can sense when energy level and patience are nonexistent. And they act like they have never been in my class before.
like talking over the teacher is okay.
like you can just refuse to move seats.
like doing activity is optional because you are just going to guess all the answers on the test.
one student (ironically high school girl) suggested that I whistle with my fingers super loud to get their attention.
and now headache.
no emotional reserves to talk myself into feeling good about today.
it was a terrible day with no redeeming qualities and I am a rubbish human being.
I have had more time to think about my major worry about other people being sick or otherwise in a bad way... and how this is all about me...
I am not afraid of these people not being available to me. Not afraid that they won't be able to do things to take care of me.
I am afraid that I will not be well enough to take care of them.
Elderboy is having trouble keeping track of things and turning them in. He has declared his intention to retake a class next year because he is not happy with his grade this year.
I am very worried when his grades are crap because he is very smart. Nope, smarter than that. Ridiculously smart. So when his grades are crap it is an indication that Something Is Wrong.
And of course the Something Wrong could no doubt have been prevented or ameliorated by me if I were on top of my game.
It is so hard to explain that I am less worried about the Bad Grade than I am about the reason for that bad grade. He's got some of the Depression too. And the Perfectionism. And a severe case of adolescence.
And our parental worry and concern can come off so yelly and unsupportive. Which is crap.
I told elderboy I was going to watch a whole bunch of teenager tv shows in which parents are crappy to their children in order to get them to do better in school.
He suggested that this was a bad plan because either
1. I would think that this was a good plan (and it would be crap)
2. I would think that I was already doing these terrible things and that I was a crap parent.
Like I said, the boy is a bloody genius.
Sang in meeting today. It wasn't as loud as I needed to sing. It was too high. My voice sounded squeaky and rattled around in the open spaces. But it was a start.
Grateful Crap: Not Being Yelly All The Time
200 mg lamotrigine
150 mg bupropion (remembrering to take it, but not at beginning of day.)
Bipolar is a selfish disease. everything is about me. If something terrible happens to other people I worry about how it will affect me.
Sad things in the world make me sad. I feel like I’m reaching for things to be sad about.
All about me.
Friends and family falling ill is of course stressful. No one can fault me for feeling sad.
But family of friends... people I have never met... surely that is not about me. And yet I worry. And I weep.
And I am not confused here... I am not grieving over golden grove unleaving. I am who I mourn for.
A coworker who is a great source of stability just found out her sister is dealing with a serious health issue. Hospitalization. Operations. Long term uncertainty.
It is stressful for her and she is sad and worried for her sister. They are very close— share a house, vacation together.
And here I am worried about what will happen to me if she leaves to take care of her sister.
Because it it is all about me.
I feel like I have had more energy since starting to take the bupropion on Wednesday. I don’t think it’s technically soon enough to have taken effect.
I felt disproportionately sad. That broken mood thermostat.
Cried during band practice when someone asked how I was doing.
Cried when I heard Carl Sagan’s voice while watching Cosmos with family.
I was just thinking back on Tuesday that I didn’t have any reserve. That if anything sad happened it would just tip me into real unequivocal depression. The always sad weepy kind.
Because I was already kind of stuck in the listless blues. No energy. Little patience. Foggy brain. Glad I went to have meds adjusted. Hope it helps.
I don’t like that it is all about me.
200 mg lamotrigine
150 mg bupropion (taken in pm)
Went to see psych NP today. After a forensic reading of my blog, I determined in a mild to moderate depressed mood state since mid December.
mezzo depressionata as the tempo marking
poco a poco deccelerando
She is going to try me on the small doses of bupropion as an add-on antidepressant.
It has been a long time since I have been on an antidepressant. I’d be curious to see how long. I’ll have to dig through the archives.
I forgot to tell her about the nightmares. I did remember to tell her about lack of focus, crying jags and word salad.
I need to go back in a month and give her some good data on how the new meds are working together with the old man’s inside my brain.
Quaker, teacher, parent,