I forgot I was going backwards in the alphabet so you'll just have to put up with the fact that there are two Ns surrounding M. And I will pretend that it doesn't bother me, although it is likely I will go back and fix it. In fact I'm going to do that right now... just a second.
Spouse was out of town for two nights. This does not sound like a disaster, and it really wasn't. But I was still really freaked out about it. I would make a terrible single parent. I am in complete awe of people who do this on a regular basis. Getting children fed and out the door is a herculean task when all other tasks also fall on you. (Perhaps if I had a spouse who regularly sabotaged everything I was trying to do, it would be a relief to fly solo.)
Sunday, I went over to a F/friend's house and started reflexively cleaning her kitchen while she was on the phone--because I had energy to do so, because I like it when I have a clean kitchen and I know that she does too, and because it was keeping me out of trouble. "This is keeping me from ripping up my kitchen floor," I explained when she told me quite sternly that I was to sit down and drink tea instead.
"WHY would you do that, this is a terrible time to tear up the kitchen floor." (because Spouse is out of town)
Because this is the perfect time to do this--Spouse is out of Town and can't talk me out of it, can't say no, can't be the voice of reason.
So I went home and tore up the kitchen floor. I only worked on the floor until 11:30. (putting in new flooring, so I didn't leave a disaster)
Elder boy, when he heard the commotion said, "Mom, what are you doing?"
Tearing up the floor
"... ... ... That sounds like kind of a big project... are you sure this is a good time to be doing that?"
Who is the grown up here? You're not the boss of me.
Naturally the following morning we were all very crabby and tired. And I called psych NP and said that I wanted to go off the fluoxetine entirely. I had only been on 10mg. A baby dose. The babiest of doses. Still.
Kitchen floor seemed symptomatic. It didn't feel like I was deciding to tear up the floor--it felt like I had to tear up the floor.
The same kind of not-stopping that I experienced when I piled up stones to cover the sandbags at the cabin.
The same kind of not stopping that accompanies my bouts of zombie gardening.
The same kind of crappy feeling that you are driven to do something and cannot stop driving. Because you are not the driver. You are just the passenger and the best you can hope for is that eventually the driver will have to pull over to refuel.
Following day I did not do anything ridiculous. Even went to bed at 9:00. Spouse returned to a disaster area--kitchen partially demolished (floor okay, but the rest of it kind of a wreck) and the rest of the house having a lovely lived-in toronadic aesthetic.
Asked for help from boss to get some things set up. Then had the courage to open email and find that she has taken care of the things that I found overwhelming. Still hate being sub-functional, but like that I am getting better at asking for and receiving help.
Also happy that I am starting to recognize the difference between project-oriented behavior that is my normal, and project-driven behavior that is a sign of illness. The main difference is duration, amount of energy required, inability to pause for routine (and necessary) activities, and lack of impulse-control.
Have also been visiting the Goodwill again. Hypomanic crap.
Will NOT let things swing into full-blown mania. Because that REALLY sucks and is much harder to recover from. Right now, energetic, not sad, not happy, not very moderate. Tippy.
Why can't I just catch normal in the middle of swinging from Depressed to manic? Why must it swing just a bit too far?
P.S. when people look at my behavior and think: hey, I must be bipolar too because I do that sort of thing... this is me while being treated. And my behaviors--the behaviors of many bipolar people even when they are having a "mood episode" are not really beyond the pale (on paper).
I don't want to downplay other people's experiences, nor do I want to play the martyr (particularly because my bipolar is mild and fairly well controlled)... I just want to encourage people NOT to assume, not to self-diagnose, not to think that we all must be the same. Because we are all different, which is a good thing because I'm pretty sure I couldn't take one more of me.
I hope that this single medication will do the trick. Side effect of other mood-stabilizers do not look appealing. Potential 50-pound weight gain, for instance. Not acceptable. (I am already over my allotment for the amount of mass considered healthy for my height and would completely wig out, not to mention feel terrible physically with that sort of increase.)
Quaker, teacher, parent,