Silent Scourge

In many cases, that’s what mental illness is, a silent scourge. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, among others appear silent to others, while people who suffer from these live in sometimes constant and unremitting hell. When you look at someone who is suffering from, for example, anxiety, you can’t tell that they are suffering. Their face may look placid and fine. They can even smile and carry on a conversation with you. However inside, their heart may be pounding, their thoughts may all be fearful and negative. Their outlook on life may be bleak. Worry and fear swirl through their body 24/7.

Well I am one of those people. Worrying, panicking, fearful, unsure of anything. And yet I put on a brave face so no one knows the extent of my suffering. It won’t stop, it won’t let me be. I’m in there, somewhere, under the tons of anxiety, gasping for breath. Sometimes it feels like my heart will explode, the constant weight on my chest, the suffocating fear, the fear and dread of what the future will bring. Will things ever be ok? Just ok would be fine, I’m not even asking for good, great, phenomenal. Just ok.

Is the worry caused by legitimate external events or do I worry so excessively due to the present biochemistry of my brain? Or a little of both? I believe mine is situational, that is it is caused by some situations in my life. Possibly, having bipolar disorder makes it worse. All I know is that it is pretty intolerable. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I live in anxiety hell. A special layer of hell reserved for those with mental illness.

Don’t know what else to say. Will keep you posted. I am hoping and praying for a positive change, positive developments.

Trying really hard, living silently.

Fragility

The human condition

Felled by a little ball of steel

Injured by a rectangle of painted red cement

Blood flows, life ebbs 

Bones break, sinews tear

Why oh humans do you not take care?

We all will die one day, why hasten it with cruelty, violence and hate?

Why not take the path of love, gentleness and grace?

Why not take care of your brothers, of your sisters, of your parents, of your children, of complete strangers?

We ARE as precious as gold, even more so, once gone, no one returns 

Here is my plea to humanity, before you shoot, hurl, break, destroy, kill, think, think about the violence you’re wreaking, think about it cannot be undone. 

Any “race” any gender,  any religion, we truly are as one.

Wonderful Meditation for anxiety

I would suggest doing the meditation first, then reading my comments below. That way you have your very own experience, not adulterated with mine. 🤗🤗

This meditation teacher’s words described the reason for anxiety so well that I was shocked! First I bawled, then I did the whole meditation again and I felt much calmer. If the reason for anxiety is so universal that the first hit on google described mine to a T, and possibly if all those other people’s thoughts and stories aren’t real then maybe mine aren’t real either. Also, hearing “giving yourself permission to focus on you, making yourself your first priority” !!! Wow! When have I ever done that? Not ever, I think. That made my anxiety abate even more because it also means I have control only of myself and possibly, I’m only/mostly responsible for my self.

Weight after weight dropped off my shoulders. I feel lighter, calmer, sunnier than before. I’m sure I’ll have to listen to this many times again. But I’m so glad I found it. It turned out to be a godsend for me!! Haven’t felt as much like myself as I’m feeling now for a very long time. Years, in fact!

No Justice, No Peace!

A peaceful protest down Cherokee Parkway, minutes ago. I went out and gave them all the black power ✊🏾 sign and bumped fists with a young woman and a young man and got applauded for it 😢! Aral❤️ was out there with both fists in the air, running up and down, shouting encouragement and getting cheered in return!

May they all be safe, may they all be loved. Ameen. Summa ameen. ✊🏾🖤❤️ What an amazing experience to behold!

Mental illness

When it flares up, this is what it feels like to me. Imprisonment. Behind bars, unable to get out even as I use all my might to pry the bars apart and run free. I can’t. I’m powerless. Stuck inside, till it, of its own accord, abates or one of the meds I’ve been put on kicks in.

Until then I stay imprisoned. Hopeless, dejected. I forgot to draw the balls and chains around my ankles. I’m sure you can imagine them there.

Goodbye lamotragine

Let me preface this post by saying that I am so grateful that no other member of my family has this infernal disease known as bipolar 1 disorder. And I’m fine with that. I would rather have it than any of my beloved family!

And now the post begins:

Upon the insistence of my psychiatrist, about a year and a half ago, I went back on lamotragine/lamictal. A disastrous drug for me! The last time I was on it for five years, I was manic for the entire five years. The most disastrous time in my adult life. The last time I was not on Lithium either. If someone would have soaked me with gasoline and thrown a lit match at me, that would have been less catastrophic than what this damned lamotragine did to me and my life. I finally ended up in the hospital as my life had turned into communicating with wizards and witches. In the hospital, thanks be to god, I was put back on Lithium and slowly, I got my life back.

Now, a year and a half ago, my relatively new psychiatrist said I could be on lamotragine with Lithium, that if I was taking lamotragine in concert with Lithium, then it wouldn’t make me manic. But he was wrong. I started with a 25 mg dose finally upped to 200 mg. Well at 200 mg now, is when the fireworks started. I’ve slowly been slipping into mania, probably at least for the last two months. Funny thing, when I’m on Lithium, coffee doesn’t make me jittery! When I’m off Lithium or when I’m going into a manicky phase, coffee makes me so jumpy that I can crawl out of my skin. I noticed this effect of coffee on me since the dose of lamotragine was increased to 150 mg a while ago. Unfortunately I didn’t put two and two together. The AHA moment just occurred today. Along with other very erratic behavior, the worsening of my anxiety to a fever pitch, losing 25 lbs… finally I realized lamotrigine was throwing me into a once again disastrous manic phase. I have stopped taking it as of tonight. I am on Lithium, a bipolar girl’s best friend, and Seroquel, another old friend of mine! I hope the poisonous effects of lamotragine wear off soon and I can regain myself and my life.

My husband, who truly is a saint, even he couldn’t stand the level of my anxiety and yes, he was getting angry at me for being hellishly anxious. Today, I finally couldn’t take his anger and told him “I am not my illness!” I told him that my illness is not me! The me that I am gets lost, disappears when bipolar disorder rears its hideously ugly head. And of course he agreed with me and we both decided that I have to stop taking lamotrigine as otherwise I will go into a full blown manic phase and straight back into the hospital. Not at all where I want to be. Thank goodness for this realization before I’m too far gone. Before all of me is lost again.

Some and these are only some of the side effects of lamotragine are listed below. I have pretty much all of them. All psychiatric drugs have horrendous side effects. But for me, there’s nothing worse than lamotragine.

lamotrigine side effects:

Weakness, drowsiness, confusion. Stiff neck, headache. Increased sensitivity to light. Mood or behavior changes, such as depression, anxiety, agitation, hostility, restlessness, mental or physical hyperactivity, suicidal thoughts, as well as total loss of appetite. Clumsiness and unsteadiness.

Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, blurred/double vision, loss of coordination, shaking (tremor).

Always apologizing

Why is it that only people with mental illness have to apologize for their symptoms? Well almost always. No one ever says “I’m so sorry for having a high blood count, but I have leukemia” do they?

I’m sorry I’m so gloomy (and I’m having suicidal thoughts, but you can’t admit that to anyone), I’m in a depression.

I’m sorry I’m such a wreck, I have really bad anxiety.

I’m so sorry I walk too fast, talk too fast, drive too fast, have hyper sexual thoughts but I’m in a manic phase.

I’m really sorry I’m so irritable, I’m in a mixed mood phase.

And anger, don’t forget anger, it comes with all of the above! Anger deserves its very own post.

No, I’m not a drama queen, I have a mood disorder.

I can be very emotional, but that also makes me very empathetic towards other people’s suffering. To use a woowoo term, I’m an empath.

If only I just didn’t have this damn disease so I could bloody well stop apologizing and go on living my life as others without mood disorders do. If only…

And as for self isolation, well I’ve been doing that for years, quite an expert at it!

Ugh! What a joy it must be to live with me!