This is probably part of what people with bipolar are afraid of. That when we are medicated against mood swings, medicated to try and control the ups and the downs, we will lose the euphoria of emotion. Because there are times of euphoria. And they are awesome.
I have described this before though as feeling like I am just a raw open nerve and everything feels too much and too strong. And my emotional reaction to everything is TOO MUCH. Real, but not realistic from an outsider's point of view.
I am used to this feeling.
Lately, I have not had this feeling. I still feel the ups and downs. And the overall layer of anxiety regardless. I feel like a semi-worthless human. But there is also a layer of numb. The emotions are not able to touch my... soul? My actual self? I don't know.
I have less of a physiological response to emotion than I am used to feeling.
I don't like it.
This is not anhedonia. Not really. It's not that I don't get pleasure from anything. It's just that when I am sad or when I am happy, it feels only skin deep. Not bone deep. Not deep into the depths of my being. That's how I'm used to feeling things. Which I guess is a hard way to be. When left to my own devices I take things too seriously on the emotional front.
But I miss that. I miss really FEELING things.
Here are some good things about this not being the case at the moment...
I am experiencing workplace stress. And while this did send me crying to my admin's office one day, those tears--shed and unshed--didn't remain like a toxic kernel within me. I cried and then I was empty. The tears poured out and then I was hollow.
Now I am routinely filled with toxic stress when exposed to the root of the problem (which happens alternating weekdays). But I don't retain that stress as crushing sadness or crippling anxiety. It turns to anger. Or confusion. Irritation.
Sometimes minor despair.
I feel like I need to reassure people. Or not whine. I feel like I am missing the up parts of my ups and downs. But I'm afraid to reflect on this and I don't want to tell people that. Why do I write? Because I want this. I want to remember what this felt like and why.
Because somewhere I have faith that I will feel Better in the future and then I can look back on what this felt like and remember that this too was truth. In fact there are times now that I feel better. Just not right before I write. Or not for long enough that there is much to write about?
I am fueled with tea and candy.
I exercise by sleeping with all my muscles tensed.
Is it any wonder I'm not doing well?
I am self-indulgent and whiny. I am not doing the things that I wrote this blog to do. I am not holding myself accountable. I am not doing anything but popping pills in an attempt to control my mental illness.
I AM TIRED OF HAVING A MENTAL ILLNESS.
But here's the thing. Even if I didn't have a mental illness, I would still need to take care of myself. So I should just stop being whiny.
I should make an appointment to talk to Glinda the possibly-good witch. She seemed nice enough. I should call my Psych NP. She doesn't know what meds I'm taking now.
I marked my arm with my fingernails yesterday. Truth in advertising. Not advocating for self harm. And it's not like this is very harmful. Just a little painful. Thought I should put that here. Maybe. I don't know.
I don't even want to write about what this does for me--this habit of scraping my skin absentmindedly--because it is not something I do as an adult. Only three times. Once this year. Once last year. Once just before my bipolar diagnosis.
I'm trying to write this more often.
The thing I am doing ALL THE TIME now is reading books on Wattpad. It's like fishing. You have to be prepared to catch nothing worth keeping.
There are so many REALLY REALLY BAD books on Wattpad and I am always reading and reading and trying to find the good ones. A process I find really enjoyable for whatever reason.
I am made of tea and candy. It's a good thing I don't do drugs. Or I would do all of them.
200 mg lamotrigine
20 mg lurasidone
10 mg fluoxetine
Quaker, teacher, parent,