Could tell I’ve been more on the anxious mood dude because I’ve felt internally jittery. Shaky. Irritable.
Coincided with being formally observed at work and turning forty-7. I do not have birthday related anxiety. But I do have the workplace stuff.
Coteacher sibling is in hospital so she is stressed.
Side note: observation went well.
But I was primed by Incorrect Usage of a Fancy sounding Word I became a Towering Volcano of Rage.
The word: regalia
This past week I was walking in the halls at school and I had a momentary experience of awesomeness.
I felt great about life, confidant in my abilities and worth in the world... it only lasted a few seconds but it felt great.
Nice to have a reminder of what that feels like. Scary to realize how low my daily baseline is.
Because right now with no added stressors when things are going well... I am just this side of okay.
Not a lot of reserve. The emotional equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck.
So do something,
Im gonna eat better. Actual vegetables. Learning Chinese cooking. Tonight’s offerings were a hit if not terribly authentic.
End of term is coming. Trying not to tie my self-worth as a parent to my children’s successes and failures.
I feel over busy.
I should unearth the treadmill and use it. If going to the Y is too stressful.
Have been seated in a jury. That’s all.
300 mg lamotrigine... the only med I like.
My latest hobsession (hobby/obsession) is binge watching Taiwanese tv shows on my phone.
(My Chinese-speaking children are afraid I might suddenly be able to understand Chinese. There is no danger of this. Aside from some polite phrases and forms of address. I can’t hear tones.)
A typical series might have 30-45 episodes.
For the first third of the series during character development I am all in.
But somewhere near the second half or the final third I am only interested in following one particular plot line.
Or one particular relationship.
So I scan through the remaining episodes in record time.
There is some question as to whether I follow this hobsession with such faithfulness because of some mood crap or if it contributes to some mood crap.
I am not hypomanic that’s for damn sure.
But I find it difficult to want to do anything but see what happens next in some Mandarin language drama.
Usually romantic comedy.
Although several times I have been fooled and partway into what started as a madcap romp I am faced with horrible tragedy for characters that I now love. Crap.
My favorite? Bromance. Which I will watch and rewatch in its entirety.
Bromance is the new SKAM for me. (Some of you may recall I once had a hobsession if rewatching season 3 of Norwegian teen series.)
And just like with SKAM I have conned spouse into watching the show with me. On my fourth go-round I think.
I won’t be offended if he tired of the series but I do like ending my day watching a show that predictably makes me happy.
Jury duty tomorrow.
Getting new blue in my hair on Saturday.
Elderboy swimming in his first varsity event for swimming on Thursday.
This is how calendars work for me. Like maps do. They are just lists of words. Except for maps have to be in order or you get lost.
When there is public transportation the only words you need are the ending cross streets. And correct fare.
300 mg lamotrigine
When I had a blog about recovering from Depression that seemed purposeful.
And when I had done my job well And completely recovered from Depression, I could just repurpose the blog into something else.
Track my creative writing.
Showcase my beading.
Publish evidence of my development as a DSLR photographer...
But I don’t have a blog about kicking Depression’s ass anymore. I have this instead.
A blog about going one round after another with Bipolar Disorder.
With no clear end. Except the clear end we all face. But at no point will I ever announce Mission Accomplished from an aircraft carrier with a banner declaring the War on Bipolar finally won.
I had envisaged the fight against Depression as being a relatively short boxing match... maybe kickboxing... in which I would inevitably gain the upper hand and Be Done.
Ok I know this is not true even in the world of unipolar depression, but it is the fairytale I wrote for myself.
I don’t want the point of this blog to be just whining.
Or just pathetic.
Or just cries for help.
But I don’t know what I do want from it.
This: a record for myself and others to see how I did on and off various medications at various times of year and in different circumstances.
From that standpoint I could write about anything.
Also this: proof of quality of life for someone living with a serious mental illness. Or at least proof of my existence.
I just feel like sometimes I want to be doing color commentary for the exciting match where Depression gets its ass kicked in the first round...
And instead I’m calling a bout that just won’t end. Literally. And it’s a punishing and brutal fights and it’s slow.
And the crowd is quite frankly sick of the whole thing but they’ve paid for the seats so what are they gonna do?
So I’m the one doing commentary. And the one fighting. And the one that I am fighting, And I’m the crowd. And we are all just so tired.
300 mg lamotrigine
Sad. Post Holiday crash? Too much chocolate? Not enough structure?
Sad and weepy today. Have been taking meds.
But it they are not magic.
Unhelpful external reasons not to actually crash include but not limited to my own children and other people’s children.
I used to describe myself as a foul-weather friend. Only there for you when you need my help.
Now I feel like foul friend. An ill friend that does no one good. Who only sees friends when I am in need.
Listened to sad love songs on the radio about people who think their love-interest is perfect.
And then thought of how I nearly had a panic attack trying to buy bagels and chocolate milk for the swim team.
Which I did wrong. I still have 2 dozen bagels left. And a gallon of milk.
And wallowed in my low self esteem Depressed puddle of imperfection.
Children are playing. I’m gonna go wrap myself in a silk comforter in a dark room.
I know its not the right term and I don't care. You know how airfoils are this magical shape that creates lift and lets you fly?
In doing the backstroke elderboy's body creates some weird magical airfoil shape that creates negative lift and drives him under the surface.
Floating on his back he will just slowly sink to the bottom of the pool under the weight of his legs and his lack of buoyancy. But get him going with backstroke and his head is actually driven down into the water. Sometimes only his nose is above water.
I was thinking about the sinking underwater metaphor for Depression that is often useful for me. And the backstroke as demonstrated by elderboy. (Who is a fine swimmer in plenty other strokes... just not backstroke!)
So if I try to do nothing about the Depression, I am like the floating/sinking swimmer. I can stay afloat but slowly, gradually I get pulled down under the weight of my own two feet.
But I also feel like if I'm trying the wrong thing... the wrong meds, the wrong activities, the wrong people, the wrong... I don't know... I feel like if it's the wrong thing to do to fight the Depression, it's like plowing myself into the water faster than if I were to do nothing.
Progress forward but also down.
So the trick is to figure out the right stroke. And focus on staying above water. And maybe don't worry so much about speed.
That's the lesson I learned from not drowning in real life. That going fast was what made me sink. Okay, lots of other things contributed to my sinking, but the drowning process was sped up when I decided to try and get to shore as fast as I could.
I taught the day without my co-teacher today. And it went okay, but I noticed the following things:
So in absence of co-teacher I mistakenly thought it was Wednesday today right up until 5 minutes before the kids showed up for class. Good thing I was prepared for either day AND I figured it out before the kids arrived or the poor Chemistry students would have had to take a test on photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
And whenever there were not children in the room I just felt kinda blank. It's not like co-teacher and I are chatting all the time. Mostly when we are doing prep for class we are just sitting at our own desks muttering under our breaths while occasionally saying, "Hey, what are you working on?"
But sometimes, enough, we say obnoxious and funny things.
Which I don't do when I am alone. Alone lets me settle in to a funk if I am so inclined. Don't get me wrong, I can do alone. I just haven't had to for a while so it feels odd.
And I don't like change.
Gotta go get elderboy from swimming. Where he did not drown.
300 mg lamotrigine
I don't feel feverish exactly, but kinda. I wrote something in my last post about being busy but I can't remember what it was. Co-teacher/workplace accommodation is having surgery on Tuesday. Daughters birthday on Thursday.
Went to meeting today. And I thought of a post I wrote with "Jesus wept" in it. And here it is Christmas but if you've read my religious posts in the past you'll know I have a complicated relationship with Christianity. And Jesus.
So in meeting when "Jesus wept" came into my head and I thought of him weeping over the death of Lazarus. And it made me weep.
And the only "vocal ministry" was about Jesus only they kept saying Christ which I don't and they talked about his birthday which I don't really celebrate and anyway he wasn't born in December. Which is totally not the point.
I have jury duty the first week of January. Which is good timing since I will be off from my regular job.
I was recently officially observed at work and co-teacher was very impressed with my lack of freaking out. Which is partly due to the fact that I am way more freaked out about her going out for surgery. She thinks she is going to bounce back fast. But I am worst-case-scenario.
Elderboy swam much faster this year than last year. Shaved 3 seconds off his 50 yard freestyle and 8 seconds off his 100 yard freestyle.
ack. Deleted post. Oh well. More Tomorrow.
upshot: very busy. Got meds. Going to bed.
300 mg lamotrigine
Did an art show on Saturday where there were probably hundreds of people. I did not talk to all hundreds of them, but enough. It felt like hundreds. And inevitably, predictably, there is the crash after the crowds. That big groups and lots of activity are Not Good For Me.
So on Sunday, I had ZERO PATIENCE FOR ANYONE. I didn't even go to Quaker meeting because sitting in silence with people was still too much. And people would want to say hi afterwards. Or shake hands. And that is such a human thing. Ugh.
I had reached PEAK IRRITATION by Sunday afternoon. Everything that everyone said or did set me off. I decided to drive around looking for advent candles. I don't even really know what advent is. I just know that there are candles involved and it was the second Sunday of advent and I was supposed to burn 2 candles but I just had the one. And I couldn't find the advent candle wreath holder thing.
And then I ended up at Target wandering the aisles looking for tapers and candle holders. Where there were a lot of people. I made Spouse do all the running around and taking care of the children all weekend. So he was exhausted. And I just had no patience for anything.
My observation window is open now... which means at work I am looking forward to being formally observed. Ordinarily this causes great stress. And I am greatly stressed, but more worried really about next week when my co-teacher is having back surgery.
I have decided to take a break from art shows. I haven't been beading at the frenzied pace I used to, so it's not like I have giant stock of new materials. So people who have been to the shows before have seen that, done that... and I don't really enjoy the process of connecting with other artists and talking about my process. I just wanna do the art part.
Might try actually to get my stuff in at some boutiques. It's a better place for it. It just means that I will have to shop my stuff around.
This morning I felt the anhedonia side of Depressed. I was clay-faced and didn't much care. Wondered if this was part of the course-correction from the too loud/too bright/too frenetic energy of the art show.
I need things to be boring. Same. Quiet. Predictable.
Which is funny because none of those words really apply to me. I just need them in my surroundings. Probably because I am not same, quiet, predictable and boring. Sometimes boring. Perhaps when predictable.
One of my students asked me to proofread a hip-hop piece he wrote. Which is really, really funny. Because I was his ESL teacher he figured I could
Quaker, teacher, parent,