My Dad went to the psychiatrist, and was put on Klonipin, Citalopram, and Temazepam. He seemed happier in his last email, and actually apologized for passing on his "bad genes". Ha! How does he even know it was him and not my really whacked out mother? And even so, as if anyone did anything on purpose, and as if anyone passed on anything.

This VERY annoying girl is sitting in my old desk, and I moved desks (with the promise of getting new file cabinet). She gets on my nerves SO bad, and even WORSE is that her fiance works there too. I was sitting near the door to our "room", and now her fiance walks by and has to have a conversation with her every time he does, breaking my concentration. And she even yelled into his room to talk to him! This is not going to be good. It doesn't help that I can't stand her. I'm going to have to think of a name for her. Stick Girl, because she's just a STICK. And her fiance/boyfriend - Loud Mouth.

Because of where she sits, we can hear everything each other says, and I caught her saying what I say on the phone to candidates! Sure, it could be a coincidence and she had been saying it all along, but I doubt it, because Bipolar Girl started doing the EXACT SAME THING a few months ago. It makes me mad, that my successful ways are being duplicated, but yet, at the same time, they don't have MY voice, or do them exactly the same way I do them, so I shouldn't feel so bad. I noticed I kept kicking the "partition" accidentally, and I hope it annoyed her.

Bipolar Girl will be back from her vacation today, and she'll be sitting facing both of us today. I would get really upset if she becomes good friends with Stick Girl now. Bipolar Girl makes friends with EVERYONE, or at least "pretends" to be.

Guess I'd better start getting ready for work and to see all the people that annoy me (I'm hormonal, can you tell?), since we have a meeting at 8:00a sharp today!

Is My Dad Bipolar?

I'm pretty sure my Dad is bipolar, and sent him an email saying so. Why would I do this? BECAUSE HE'S ACTING FRIGGIN' MANIC, and he's going to the psychiatrist tomorrow, and I was trying to point things out to him. I'm pretty sure I'm a "trigger" for him, and create "rage" in him the few times I've responded to his *crazy* emails. So I just fired one off, and of course, I'm just a "kid", how can I possibly know how he feels, and who knows what else he's going to say. Besides, mass emailing everyone about his mental instability is all about HIM, right? How DARE I compare his symptoms with mine, I'm sure he's thinking. HIM HIM HIM.

Here's his email that I wrote a pretty lengthy response debating my belief that he is bipolar (and because of his previous emails). Since he's going to the psychiatrist tomorrow, I wanted him to understand our similar symptoms and that I was bipolar when they asked him about his family history. Isn't that fair? I didn't write a book, it was about 4 paragraphs, mainly educating him about having a chemical imbalance. I have a feeling that "educating" him is going to really piss him off.

Anyways, his email:

"Just to continue from my last e-mail, (KansasSunflower), after I don't go to sleep after a couple hours, then the mind races with negative thoughts. I have a little MP-3 player that I put on the headphones filled with soft music, to kind of divert my thinking. I'm kinda at my wit's end here, (KansasSunflower). Hope the psychiatrist can help some way. I do not know if it is entirely physchological, or possibly physical. I just know I can't get to sleep, and it is driving me buggier and buggier. Maybe it is possible to live without real sleep, just a lot of relaxation, I do not know. I do the relaxation techniques, count breathing, pray positively, just don't go to sleep."

Now tell me...does that not sound like CLASSIC MANIA to you?

I'm Excited!

We went swimming! :-) We went to the neighborhood pool, and for some amazing reason, there were hardly any people there, so it was a good way to acclimate myself into wearing one of my swimsuits in "public". I laid out and got in the pool twice - it was fun!

And...I made a placement yesterday! A permanent placement, which means I'm paid a lump sum. The guy is a Sr. Java Developer with Java Swing, and good ones are hard to find - they're in great demand. But...I caught him lying to me more than once. Doesn't matter, I just tell myself the money all spends the same. You have to tell yourself SOMETHING to stay sane when things like that happen and your morals and ethics don't "jive" with what you're doing. What I *want* to do is say "forget it", and stop helping him find/get a job. The other side of me is saying..."but this is for MONEY, put your feelings about him away....". It's very conflicting for me. This whole business is.

I'm SO EXCITED to go to Cancun! :-) For 5 nights and 6 days! :-) No work, No work, No work!!!

JUST ONE MORE THING! A McDonald's ice cream cone only has 3 Weight Watchers points! I know, you can't believe it either, huh?

Proof, but Did I Even Want It?

So they say that mental illness runs in families. I've never objected to that belief.

All I've had before now have been stories, rumors, memories, etc.....but I actually have an email that proves there is true mental illness in my family.

To begin the story, my DAD sent two bizarre memos a few days before that said he hit his head and couldn't type (just one-line emails), but you could barely read it because the characters were all wrong. I thought it was a stupid thing to do, and deleted it without a second thought. He is one of those mass e-mailers - you know the type. Every joke/inspirational thought, etc. he forwards. I delete a lot of his things without even opening them.

Now I see I shouldn't have deleted those 2 emails.

Then this came from my DAD, by EMAIL (yes, mass email) to close family members and friends (the misspellings are his own):

"Well, I can type a little better now. A CAT scan Monday night showed the concussion was not bleeding further, so hope recovery is happening.

I owe you all the truth. My falls were due to the fact I couldn't sleep, for several nights, got very desperate and buggy, and took some of our dog's phenobarbitol with about a triple shot or more of alcohol.Only to get to sleep. I was not trying to kill myself or do myself harm, but I sure harmed myself That's the real truth. I just got back from the Dr. where I got a prescription for Paxil (sn snti-depressant and some Ambien for sleep) I hope they work. Please hope with me. (My wife), of course has been her wonderful self, and my friend has been wonderful as well, doing lwgwork, phonework, calling Dr after Dr, and beong very learned and aware of the problem. She has helped (my wife) and I both through this. I ask for your prayers, blessings, good thoughts, good vibes, whatever you can give for me. Seems like a long way back. Love you all, Thanks for reading this and being my friends. Love, (My Dad's Name)"

I haven't spoken to him (okay - admittedly - we only speak through email, so I haven't EMAILED him) since he called me all of these horrible things like soul-less and shallow, except to say "thanks, I'll remember that", even after he apologized. I just didn't want to get into a conversation with him. Perhaps part of me knew he was very unstable and I was protecting myself emotionally from striking out at me again.

I have no idea what to say to him now. I don't want to say "I understand", because maybe I don't. He's told me before that he considers me the "psychiatric medication expert", but I don't want to get into what I've heard/know about Paxil (my opinion is indifferent), and what I don't know. No one is the same, and I don't want to give him even the tiniest INKLING that it MIGHT not work and it may take a few tries to find the right medication for him. I don't want him to give up too soon because of ME.

I don't want to trigger rage, depression, ANYTHING, and I think I'm a huge "trigger" for him. The last thing I want is for him to become emotionally unstable on me. Now THAT would be a trigger for *me*.

I guess an email saying "I'm glad you're getting help - you're in my thoughts and prayers..", is that too apathetic and impersonal, after pouring out his heart, even in a mass email to close friends and family members?

My honest opinion? Since this is, after all, my own blog?:-) He's totally bipolar. He went absolutely Manic - Bipolar ONE Manic, his mind wouldn't shut off and let him sleep for days, he went into rages and sent me those emails, he was delusional thinking his organs were shutting down, and that he had congestive heart disease (to the point he REALLY believed he was within a day of dying), and he showed bad judgment by taking his DOG'S MEDICATION.

And see, these are only the things I know that he's said through email. I don't even know the truth! Can you imagine what it must REALLY be like in that house? Oh my God.

And to think...this is the more NORMAL parent of mine! My mother....well, if you think HE is a mess, take a couple of steps back....

But you're just reading this one email of his and thinking I'm going overboard. No, it's a lifetime of bizarre behavior, trust me.

Okay, I've got to figure out how to respond...because I don't think it's a good idea to call...and doesn't it require a response?

Work Triggers

I started Weight Watchers again, and today was my first day to weight since beginning. I lost 2.5 pounds, bringing my weight to 128.5. I don't necessarily have a goal in mind, because I don't want to disappoint myself. My goal is to get down to as little as I can before my trip to Cancun. Now that I'm back in the 120's, the further down I can get into the 120's, the better.

Either I had a bad day yesterday, or I'm just taking it bad.

It started out with me going to bed at 7:30pm, not setting my alarm, and waking up at 7:30a with sun pouring into the room. For a minute, I thought it was a Saturday! I called my boss on his cell, and the first words out of his mouth were "are you bringing doughnuts or Starbucks?" :-)

I have one candidate that was offered a job last week, and keeps wanting to "think" about it. He's been doing this for over a week now, and the company has been letting him because they like him so much! I'm so "over" it that I want to call him and tell him forget it.

My other candidate was offered a job, but a 6 week contract to hire, and he DEFINITELY wants a permanent job. So I negotiated, with my boss, that we would hire him full time, and then he would transition to a full time position with the company. This is with a really stupid brand new account manager. They offered my candidate $45 hour - literally, $45 hour, with no mark-up for us to pay workman's comp insurance, and all of our "burden", etc. (and hey, I need little "cheese" out of that) then $85k. My boss and her Manager got into a huge fight about it in front of everyone, it lasted through lunch, and it was terrible. boss can basically do what he wants - I just happened to get stuck with the President off all the offices as my Manager.

I was depressed about the whole situation at work yesterday, and my boss knew it. He actually gave me a candidate that he was almost positive would be a "deal".

I gave Bipolar Girl one of my bikinis that I bought for my Cancun trip for her FL trip this weekend. I've bought like...5 - and I was going to take 2 back, so I brought those and let her choose which one she wanted. She chose the really cute one that the colors match her red hair. The top is actually too small for me (the chest), and she wears a B cup, so it worked out perfectly. She only makes, because of loans she's taken out from my boss, like...$950 every other week. And she LIVES on that all by herself! I'm so amazed that she has an apt in Dallas and everything else that she pays for monthly. But...she has ZERO extra money.

Mark is back from Chicago - he got home at about 9:30 last night, and I was already in bed. I think my dieting has sucked all the energy out of me - I can't imagine what else it could be, because I've been SO TIRED and DRAINED. I can have 18 points daily, which is like...NOTHING, and only had 16 yesterday. Coming home and going to bed so early every evening is definitely NOT ME.

I hope Mark and I get along this week - sometimes when he comes back from Chicago (like, the first week), we argue a lot. It's a power struggle, I think.

Moving Desks?

My phone and Internet connections are tied together - I think it's called "Vonage"? - I'm not sure. Anyway, they both went down last night, and Mark was in Chicago. I didn't even THINK about my cell phone that was working, and just went to bed, deciding if it started working again, he would call me. Well, being the idiot that I am, he kept trying my cell, and couldn't get ahold of me all night. I just KNEW he was going to think I was out all night or something (because that's what I would have thought) on my way to work when my cell dawned on me, but he didn't. Thank God!

I started a serious diet (yes, I know what some think about it), where I'm back on Weight Watchers. It makes me see how little I can really eat. I forgot that, basically, I can eat NOTHING. If you're familiar with Weight Watchers, I can only have 18 points a day. 18 points! That's like, an Egg McMuffin for breakfast (it's only 350 calories!), a Lean Cuisine (about 250!) for dinner, and maybe a protein bar (maybe 350!). That's IT! ALL DAY! And I'm not even making this up. Yes, I DO go to bed hungry. I have 35 points to spread out during the week, so that's like 5 points a day, but I'm not using them. Again, Cancun is calling, and Mark is working out like a "big dog", so I have to get into shape!

There's this REALLY annoying girl at work, and I heard through the grapevine that after I left for my hair appt last night, my boss told her to move to the desk across from me. She said "no" (can you believe that?), and said she wanted to sit in MY desk instead. Both my boss and Older Woman left msgs on my phone to call them while I was at my hair appt to warn me and I think in an attempt to "keep the peace". I'll probably go ahead and move into that desk instead because it comes with a HUGE filing cabinet, but not without telling my boss about how I'll be able to hear EVERY word she says now, how she irritates the HELL out of me (and she really does), and, because he's "big" into this crap, throw in there I'm just trying to keep peace and harmony in the "family". He'll buy into that bullsh*t and think I'm a hero. She actually, adamantly, said "no", she wouldn't move into that desk. I think it's because it's in the middle between Older Woman, Bipolar Girl and myself, and she would feel uncomfortable because we are so "tight". We have even hung out over the weekends, and I do *not* want to hang out with HER. AND her creepy crawly husband that I cannot STAND works there, too. He's a know it all, and I just seethe whenever he talks. He has chew in his mouth ALL THE TIME which disgusts me, he has an annoying laugh, he's loud, and I don't even say "hello" or "goodbye" to him. I guess I don't to his girlfriend, either. I just don't like their personalities. Haven't you ever met people like that? People think I'm SOOO sweet and nice (can you believe that from reading my blog? haha), yet I don't even give them the time of day. Older Woman said my boss said I can move my desk however I wanted - towards the window, out away from where it was - whatever I wanted to do, which is REALLY big for him. I'm glad he's being so nice about it. But...I'll believe it when I hear it with my own ears, and if I get to work and she starts moving her crap over to my desk without my agreeing to move desks yet, I will FREAK OUT all over her as*. Ha - "freaking out" amounts to, for me "I haven't decided to move yet - I'm not moving my things, so stop moving yours." *I* have the "upper hand" here, not her, and I'm not about to give it up.

Other than that, no bipolar symptoms, thank GOD! I think I'm in "remission", who would have guessed? I'm really excited for my trip, even though I've missed SO MUCH WORK that I don't think my boss is going to pay me for it. Yes, I know I'm one of his favorites, but he's the biggest miser in the entire world.

I'm sure I'll be writing about "desks" tomorrow...

Positive/Negative/ANY Influence?

Do you think that if someone doesn't have positive things to say, then they shouldn't keep a public blog? In the beginning, I kept a private blog to log my thoughts and feelings that were screaming inside, and writing about them forced me to think about them enough to put them into words. I was amazed that it resulted in working through the problem that way many times.

But, and I know I've been here before, I'm not "giving back to the community". But I'm not TRYING TO DO THAT WITH MY BLOG! This has all been very personal to me, and while people are invited to read what I write, my intention is not to "bring anyone down" or think negatively about having bipolar disorder. If anything, I feel proud that I'm a very productive member of society with a good job, and while I live with my fiance, am convinced I could live alone, too.

Yes, I go through extreme lows and some highs. But...again, that's another reason I keep my blog. To record my moods. After my most recent depression, I looked back and saw where it may have started, and thought "a-ha! I'll know better next time!". Isn't that a great tool?

Some people use mood charts. I use a blog. And I use it to chart everyday events.

Is that being a bad person by allowing people into my sometimes "dark world"? I'm not educating people about mental disease like Furious Seasons , which I read ALL THE TIME.

If I'm a NEGATIVE influence on the community, which I never meant to be ANY influence on the community whatsoever, then perhaps I should go back to being "private" again?

I simply went "public" with my journal...that's all I did.

"'cause these words are my diary screaming out loud, and I know that you'll use them however you want to..."

Guilt Eats Me Alive

Well, this really sucks. Bipolar Disorder Shrinks Brain

Am I going to go senile? I'm glad I practically "ran" to the doctor when I realized how depressed I was. But...I waited until it was DRASTIC.

I've been watching Big Brother 8, where Daniele is stuck in a house with her Dad, whom she hadn't spoken to in 2 years. Mark commented he couldn't imagine me stuck in a house like that with my MOTHER. That would be quite awkward and painful, but I guess that's the point, right?

You know what really sucks? I mean REALLY SUCKS. I checked my BMI because of a comment on my last post, and yes, even by adding 10% for small bones, which I DEFINITELY have (people actually comment on it), I'm still in the normal range.

But Mark has lost about 12 pounds recently, and asked what he was, and I should have lied. He's 6'0", and about 196, and it showed he was "obese", so I just read off the results without thinking about it. He's been running every day, changed his eating habits DRASTICALLY for the past few weeks, and I think I totally hurt his feelings and depressed him. I can see it in his eyes and by the way he's walking, but he's telling me to "get over it". He just went upstairs to run on the treadmill, but he already had that planned. I even said, "but I'm fatter than you!", thinking I was making him feel not so bad, then I realized I was calling him fat. But he's NOT! Muscle weighs more than fat, and he's definitely been gaining muscle since he's been running.

I'm an awful person. I can't get over my guilt. He's been working SO HARD. God, I'm a horrible, horrible person.

I can't help what the BMI calculator says, right? Should I have lied? He's NOT fat, but I kept plugging in numbers after he left, and finally got it to "normal" at 6'0" at 183. I told him he was "big boned", which you can subtract 10% and would put him in the "normal" category, and he said "that's what Cartman always says about himself, right?", meaning Cartman from South Park.

Even when I weighed 175, he never called me fat or said I was obese from some calculator. Now he's thin, and I just said he was obese.

Should I feel so guilty? You should have seen his face, and the look in his eyes. Am I projecting my own importance of feeling thin onto him?

He only said "I AM fat", after saying how thin he's felt for the past 2 weeks. I'm SO stupid. I hate that I hurt the person I love the most, especially when it's not even true.

I feel like getting back at myself, because he won't do it. I totally deserve it, and I wish someone would do it to me, maybe at work? I'm just too sensitive there. That's the point, right?

How awful to wish bad things on yourself. Guilt eats me alive, and I'd rather endure pain than guilt, except the horrible depression I just went through - I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

Afraid of the Future

Well...the depression has lifted. It's a miracle. To go from THAT depth of despair and back up so quickly is bizarre for me. That's never happened before now. The pain was so unbearable that I didn't know how long I could take it. It was only a few days ago, so yes, I remember how bad it was only too vividly, and the scars have not yet healed.

I *hope* that I'm not getting hypomanic from doubling my Abilify. I can't tell if things are getting on my nerves and I'm being more bitchy than normal. God knows I've put Mark through hell the past few weeks with my emotions, and I'd hate to be a witch on top of everything else I've dished out to him. What must it be like to live with me? I've got to be the biggest Drama Queen that ever lived to him. I asked him tonight to PLEASE be patient with me as I just increased my dosage on Abilify, and I have no idea how I'm going to react to that. Don't you think that's a fair request?

I looked back in my blog, which is the WHOLE REASON I keep this darned thing, and noticed a theme. I was writing and writing about SUICIDE. The Golden Gate bridge, Richard Jeni...why didn't I read between the lines in my OWN BLOG in my OWN WORDS? It had been coming on for awhile, it just so happened that the conversation about my mother and myself to the bank was the "trigger" that broke the dam.

Can I trust that my depression can go away with a snap of my fingers (okay, it really wasn't THAT quick, but compared to when I was in the hospital...), and not expect repercussions from doubling my Abilify, like hypomania?

My emotions have and are changing BIG TIME, and of COURSE for the better overall, I'm just afraid.

Why do I always have to be afraid of my emotions? What I feel now, what I will feel tomorrow, what's looming in the future....I'm tired of being "afraid". Yet, after what just happened to me, I'm VERY afraid.

I'm doing everything I can - trying to stay "positive", listen to the right kinds of songs and music, telling Mark to stop being pessimistic because I don't want to hear it, even though that sounds mean, I know. But I HAVE to put my mental health as my #1 priority right now. I absolutely HAVE to - I have no choice. I'm even still going to the gym. Can you believe I GAINED a pound last week? Do you think it's because I doubled my Abilify, because I didn't eat enough to gain a pound...

Yes, feeling "okay" is WONDERFUL! It's GLORIOUS! Being "okay" and not consumed by depression is like a dream right now. Maybe I will get hypo, or I already am, minorly. It sure beats being so depressed you can hardly function.

Is It True?

I'm better. It didn't start out that way.

I woke up, and felt that heavy feeling in my chest, like it was just a matter of time before the depression set in. Instead, I got "out of control" anxiety, and couldn't even finish my breakfast. I made it through our Thursday morning meeting, not even caring if I was acting normal, got to my desk, and could hardly function. It occurred to me to take klonipin, but I was scared. If I took klonipin and the anxiety dissipated, would depression replace it? I did it anyway - it was overwhelming and almost incapacitating.

Miraculously, I started to feel "okay". I couldn't believe how good I felt, even if I was just feeling tentatively "normal". And still....I feel okay, which as I always say, is SO MUCH BETTER than "feeling okay" sounds.

But it's like I have a "depression hangover". I can feel it lingering, just waiting to come back. I never expected to feel "okay" so quickly - I thought it would take weeks. And...I'm keeping this in perspective - this is only ONE DAY. The "depression hangover" is a constant reminder that I'm not out of the woods yet.

I know better than to listen to music, or at least be incredibly careful about what I'm listening to on the radio/CD player, etc. I started listening to the Fray for about....30 seconds, and switched it off. I felt my mood immediately start to shift.

My mood is SO SENSITIVE and I feel like I'm guarding it with my life!

I have no idea if anyone has ever remembered experiencing a "depression hangover" - does it last long? I know that it would take very little for me to fall back into that dark, deep hole.

I tried to explain to my doctor what STARTED this whole thing, but it almost seemed irrelevant in his office. I just needed somplace to START my story, does that make sense? I didn't want to just sit down and say "I'm very depressed, now fix me". I started to explain about telling the bank about my strained relationship with my mother, and how it wasn't even about that anymore, and he didn't ask any questions about it, just moved on to how to FIX the PROBLEM. Mark's that way too - doesn't need or want to hear the details. But you know what? Yesterday, I didn't WANT to talk about them. I didn't want to discuss ANYTHING. What happened is what I wanted. It's like saying..."mommy, I'm sick..." and for her to just understand and take care of you, and that's what happened. It wasn't in me to talk about it, I was already in so much pain. I'm sure to my doctor, it's probably all science, math and technology anyway, right?

Just my observation.

I'm halfway scared about tomorrow....

A Dash of Hope

I just got back from the psychiatrist. It's strange, because people have been asking me "what's wrong?" lately, when I'm just talking to them in what I *think* is my normal way. No, I don't FEEL normal, I feel very depressed, but how can they tell? What is it that I'm doing? I'm not wearing all black or anything.

The reason I mention this is that I didn't have to say much to my doctor for him to realize I was seriously depressed. I've told him I was depressed before, and he didn't react quite like he did today. But I didn't FEEL quite like I did today, either. Right now is not a normal depression, ridiculous, what depression is "normal"? This is a "get your butt off the ground fast or you'll end up in the hospital" depression, and I know it, because I feel myself spiralling downwards further every day, and it encompasses my whole BEING - physical and emotional. I think that's what people can tell - they can actually see it physically in me.

Anyways, I hardly said much, and he doubled my Abilify (yes, I know some think it's for mania, but it works for me and depression for some reason), and said not to wait longer than a week if I'm not feeling better to call and come in, and I know they can get me in that same day from experience. Can the medicine change even WORK that fast? God, Ihope so. I told him I didn't want to increase my Seroquel for the depression this time, and he said no, that wasn't what he was wanting me to do anyway. Another week of THIS is too much to bear. Anyways, he, of course, wanted to try one thing at a time, but he doesn't normally act so hastily. I mean...he hasn't mentioned seeing me in a week since I got out of the hospital in 2001. But...I admit, I haven't been this down since....maybe then. Not like THIS. Yes, I've been depressed. But this could turn suicidal in the blink of an eye, although I didn't tell him that and didn't bring up the topic, nor did he. All that wondering "should I...should I not" was for nothing. It's like he already knew...almost like he knew TOO MUCH without my saying anything at think he reads my blog? :-) That's why I brought up my depression is also physical and people have been commenting on it - he must have seen it in me too? He knows me well enough - I've been going to him for 6 years next month!

Of all times, today I got a ticket going into work - 54 in a 40. I was scared to death that there was an unpaid ticket SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW for me, and I'd left my cellphone at work, and Mark was in Chicago. I just KNEW I was going to be arrested, hauled to jail, and not be able to call anyone and get out. He just wrote me the ticket, I signed it, and like a dumb-ass said "thank you", and went along my merry way to work. I was actually relieved that either a) there are no tickets unaccounted for, which SHOULD be the case, or b) he didn't check up on me. I'm thinking it's B. It went too quickly, and he'd already pulled another car over before I even turned off the street to head back to work.

Nothing much to say about work except it DEPRESSES the HELL out of me to be there. I get more down when good things happen for other people, and think they will never happen for me. I'm such a defeatist right now.

I just took all my nighttime meds, PLUS 3 100mg of Seroquel (3 times my nightly dosage) and it's 6:00p. I took the extra Abilify too, and will take it again in the morning to get it into my system quickly.

God I hope this doesn't last long, but at least I have one thing: HOPE.

Down for the Count

I just woke up, and I'm hoping I'll feel better today.

I got SO depressed at work yesterday. It just came over me, and once again, it was a physical pain in my chest, my throat, my body. I stayed at work and made it through the day, then got into my car where the tears just poured down my cheeks all the way home.

The pain is so unbearable. It seems like I should be able to "shake it off", but I can't. It seems like all I should do is think more positively,not take things so personally, get let down so easily, but it doesn't work out that way. Every tiny thing that happens to me and BOOM, I'm further down the ladder into hopelessness, and there's NO WAY I can crawl out.

How in the WORLD can I explain what it feels like? I feel so alone with no one to talk to about it, and it's a big dark secret where I have to keep acting "normal", knowing all the while that I'm not. I'm quiet and keep to myself, and I don't know how people are interpreting that. Maybe they're so self absorbed - which really could be the case - that they don't even notice.

The thing is, I'm doing EVERYTHING I possibly can to get better! I started working out at the gym, I took more Seroquel Saturday night, I stayed busy all day Sunday - even taking a shower and getting out of the house, running errands, making it to work on time every day, and anything else I can possibly think of to cure myself. It's just not working.

The first thing I did when I walked in the door was take 2 Seroquel, which I NEVER do. I'd already had 2 klonipin, and they didn't even phase me. Mark called, I cried to him, then I started feeling better after I talked through some of it (or the Seroquel kicked in because I took it on an empty stomach). mother was the "trigger", but is now not the "issue". I can't believe it took so little to spin me out of control after being basically stable for so long. Yes, the thought of suicide soothed me for like...5 minutes yesterday, but I didn't let myself think about it. It's just not healthy.

I have a psychiatrist visit today at 4:00p. Like I said, I'm doing EVERYTHING I possibly can to get better. He gave me about...11 refills last time I saw him? Now I'm down to about 1 on everything, so I needed to see him anyway, but I'm sure he would have let me go a few months calling in refills. I just need to do whatever I can to FIX this before I end up in the hospital again. Maybe I saw him 6 months ago...I can't remember. At some point, we added Abilify to the "mix". It could have been a year - I have no concept of time when it comes to seeing him.

I don't know how I feel about a med change. I've gone a long time not needing one, and I certainly don't want to increase my Seroquel. The last time I did that, I gained 10 pounds in a month, but that's always my doctor's answer for everything "increase your Seroquel". The thing is...that's just not a long term solution for me, because I will back it down to 100mg as fast as I can once I'm feeling better. AND...we're going to Cancun in a month. I need to LOSE weight for my bikinis, not GAIN. Then again, how horrible of a trip it would be if I were depressed the whole time.

Guess I'd better get ready for work. My boss is MAKING me come in an hour early today to make up time for my doctor's app't today. Not good changing the sleeping habits of a bipolar....

No More Suicidal Thoughts

I've been up since 3:30 this morning, or earlier. I laid in bed for awhile before I looked at the clock, saw what time it was, gave up and just got up.

It's not so unfathomable that I was thinking about suicide just a few days ago, but I feel about 100% better. That sounds wrong, though. I was "thinking about suicide", just thinking about it, not about actually DOING it. As in "I have this option" to pacify myself, but I never wanted to kill myself. It eased my depression and anxiety. As I type that, I realize how confusing that sounds. It's so different to think about something and to decide that's what you want to do. I was "exploring the option in my head", without any intent on committing the action. Does that make any sense? It seems so distant after taking the 400mg of Seroquel Saturday night. It truly works as an anti-depressant, and FAST. I'm going to try and get in to my psychiatrist this week. I'm debating on whether to tell him about what I was *thinking*. Extremely depressed, yes, but does he need to know the rest? Knowing myself, I'll tell him, as he's never let me down before, even when I've told him, on two occasions, that I've OD'ed on Seroquel. You'd think he'd take it away from me, but he never has.

I had a SERIOUS talk with Mark yesterday - about how I was having a hard time right now because of the trust fund and dealing with my family - how I do want him to come with me if he has issues, but not to yell at me. It was too overwhelming. I needed him to be my "rock", to "support" me right now. He understood and apologized. I think it was a very good conversation. I also brought up the fact that he was yelling at me when I was crying because I was depressed. He just said that he didn't know how to react - he feels so horrible when I cry or am depressed, and he doesn't know what to do. I told him yelling or screaming at me is the WORST possible thing he could do, and just leave me alone - more than likely, it has nothing to do with him. I really think he understood. He'll be gone for the next two weeks for work, and I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Is this a good time for me to be left alone? Maybe it is - I can bury myself in my work, and not have to deal with Mark's issues on top of my own. I always miss him immensely, but I need to work through this.

My Dad is starting to freak out again. After sending his mean emails, he's NOW sending emails that I'm not talking to him! Here's his latest"

"Dear (KansasSunflower), I love you and miss you. Please forgive me for my immature e-mail of a couple of weeks ago. I was afraid, hurt, and lashed out at you. I am sorry. I would like very much to re-establish communications with you. Please?"

I know, you're pitiful, I should write him back. It's not that I'm not talking to him, I just have no desire to write him back. Maybe I'm pushing him away so he doesn't hurt me again.

Here are the 2 memos that my Dad wrote me that pissed me off SO MUCH:

"God bless you, Daughter, I love you, I respect you, I admire you, you are so very smart, intellectually able, but you so much lack soul, empathy, wisdom."

And THEN he wrote this:

"Just look at the shallow response you wrote to me. "You need to lose weight, I did, it was HARD! You shouldn't feel bad about the way you abandoned me as a child. Oh by the way I just bought a new BMW!" For God's sake, (KansasSunflower)! Why would I think you shallow?"

I really lost out when it came to parents.

A bit of hope has come back. I'm going to the gym today after not going for about 7 weeks because of my plantar's wart. I keep medicine and clear duct tape on it, and I didn't want the girls to see it on my foot. I've decided to go to a bathroom stall and take it off, workout, and then just not wear it for the rest of the day. I've GOT to lose about 5 pounds before our trip to Cancun.

I have a bit of hope about my candidates getting jobs at work. They're getting close to getting offers, anyway. I "blanked out" last month...hopefully I won't this month too.

Okay - time to take a shower and hopefully get to work before anyone else so I can jump on the jobboards. I don't actually like to recruit that way because I find "active" candidates that end up taking other jobs before they take mine. But...SOMEONE is going to place them, so it might as well be me! :-)


I feel better today. Instead of 100mg of Seroquel before bed last night, I took 400mg. Since my doctor's typical solution for my depression is to increase my dosage of Seroquel, I thought I'd do it on my my own, and it has already had an effect. I still feel some Seroquel effects like laziness and sluggishness (not slurring words, etc.), but in this particular case, I think numbing out my feelings is a GOOD thing. The anxiousness is not gone, especially now when I'm forcing myself to think about what I FEEL, but it's improved drastically.

I HAVE to go see my doctor in the next few days or week since I'm almost out of Klonipin and am on my last refill of Abilify, and I plan on being honest with him and telling him that I was having thoughts of suicide - not actually DOING it, just that the idea was soothing to me. But I wonder, what purpose does it have? I don't want my medications changed, and I surely don't want him to suggest possibly going into the hospital if I don't get better. I suppose to keep a "record" of my progress, he should know, right? And also, for him to decide if I should start coming in more often than 6 months or 12 months or whatever. He trusts me that I'll make an app't if I need to come in, because I always have, and gives me tons of refills. The thing is - right now I probably need to see him, but if I didn't need a refill, I wouldn't make an appt since I don't want a med change.

It probably sounds like what I need right now is a therapist, not more medication to see me through this. BUT - since it's situational...medication could get me past all this until it's just a memory. To me, that's a much more comfortable way of dealing with it. Going through the trauma of discussing it and trudging it up in counseling would be too much for me - I don't' think I could survive it again. I've done it once which is how I decided to "say goodbye" to my mother, and going through all of that AGAIN...I don't think that I could deal with that right now. That would be the first thing I'd have to discuss in therapy - my relationship with my mother, the very thing that is my problem. No, therapy is not the answer for me right now.

What Is Suicidal Ideation, Anyway?

I'm miserable. I'm terribly anxious and depressed. I feel like no one can possibly understand what I'm going through. How do I explain it when I don't understand it myself?

The whole ending of the trust fund has been a true "trigger" for me. I'm hoping it's not an actual trigger, and what I'm feeling is normal and natural for what's happening. Is it? Who do I ask? How do I know?

Sometimes, I feel relief from the anxiety by thinking of the Golden Gate Bridge. Why the Bridge? Jumping into water from 250 feet and above is almost always fatal. It's so simple - maybe not without pain and rather gory, but all you do is step or jump off, and that brings me peace. I'm not going to DO IT, but it's comforting to know that it's an option. Is that suicidal ideation? How do you know if you're suicidal? I've been suicidal before, and this is different. I'm not nearly as depressed. I wonder if I would have considered myself "suicidal" back then. If someone asked me right now "are you thinking about taking your own life?", well, what would I say? Yes, I'm *thinking* about it, but not because I'm considering the possibility of doing it. Only because it brings relief of thinking about it. There's a big difference, right? To me, there is.

I'm being forced to think about my past, and my mother, my grandfather (who left us the trust fund), my brother, and because of a life insurance policy that's in the trust, my evil former step father. I haven't spoken to these people in years and years. Why?

To make a long story short, they hate me. My younger (9 years) brother for telling him what his father did to me growing up, and he decided to believe his Dad, over me, making me a liar. Why in the WORLD someone would lie about things like THAT I have no idea. The last thing he said was he didn't like being put in the middle of it, which I didn't do, and that was it. He stopped talking to me.

My mother? Apparently she enforces what my brother believes, or else he would know the truth. See? WHY does she do that to me? Why does she always put me last? She always has - my whole life. And she's always been jealous of me, her own daughter, too. I *think* she also feels extreme guilt for what happened and can't face me, as she told me, while crying, that my counselor would be mad if she ever knew I spoke to her. I didn't deny it when she said it, because, well, she was right. She told me I would NEVER see her again. Can you imagine your OWN MOTHER telling you that? We weren't even in the middle of a fight, just a conversation, and she said that. So basically, she ACTS like she hates me too and only contacts me when she WANTS something from me, which hasn't been since the 80's.

For the life insurance policy, my brother, mother and myself are supposed to choose one person that all correspondence should go to and is responsible for making the yearly payment. Are you friggin' kidding me? Communicating with them once a year to make my portion of the payment? #1 - I don't trust them with my money nor to make the payment, and #2 - I don't want it to be me and get stuck with the payment on my own. So what did I decide? To end the policy that's existed since the 1970's. My intuition tells me they are going to FREAK when the bank notifies them of my decision. I thought the poor lady in charge of life insurance policies was going to cry when I told her that. She may have been thinking I just made her life a nightmare - but Mark said he's sure she's used to these kinds of things.

When I do get the money which should be within the next 2 weeks or so, I don't know if I'll just completely fall apart. I wish this whole thing would go away. I didn't ask for this, and it's consuming me. Someone I dearly loved, respected, looked up to, gave me confidence in myself, believed in me, passed away and left me this gift, and I don't deserve it. This happened in the 80's, so why does it upset me so much?

It's so confusing to me. I don't know why I feel the way I do, and Mark is making it worse. All of a sudden, he has all of these "feelings" he just HAS to get out about me and about us - things that bother him and that anger him that I do, and it's hard to deal with him. It's just a mound of shit on top of shit. I try to tell him I'm having a hard time right now, but it's as if he doesn't care and it just makes it worse. I was depressed in the car, and once again, he practically yelled at me, and told me crying was "blackmail". He goes from being incredibly supportive, to freaking out on me. Is he trying to get attention on himself so I'll forget why I'm depressed? It doesn't add up to me.

Maybe I'm not as depressed as I'm making it sound. I'm really okay. Well..."okay" is a bit optimistic. I'm "hanging in there" and the normalcy periods far outweigh the depressive states. I'm being a bit dramatic in this post, but I have to get these feelings out somehow, somewhere...

The ending of the trust fund is causing me a lot of depression and anxiety, but I suppose money left by someone you love isn't exactly a celebration, is it? The thing is...I didn't realize that I would have to THINK so much about my mother and brother....and my past. I didn't understand why I was so overwhelmed with anxiety last night - I thought I was going to throw up, and could hardly move I was so overcome by it. Mark put it into perspective - I hadn't realized I was having to think about my family situation until he said it - he said it was forcing me to think about things my own counselor told me not to do. I just thought I was upset about how my mother was going to react to my life insurance policy decision of just "dropping it", and it seemed like such a small issue that I didn't "get it". He again put it into perspective - I was frozen with the thought of "what if she calls? what if, what if, what if...", I was so scared of talking to her. He said we have caller ID, and I never had to talk to her, no matter how many times she calls, and he highly doubted she would call for years, and we can always get our number changed no matter how many times it took. He also had a plan about the life insurance policy. Since money isn't the issue to me and forced communication yearly with them IS, he said why not sign the form, tell the bank I want nothing to do with the payments or communicating with anyone about it, and let my mother and brother take care of my evil former step dad's life insurance policy. If they don't pay the yearly payment, so what? If they do, all the better for me.

The issues, or at least, "perceived issues" of the process of ending the trust fund has gotten me so upset that I'm depressed one moment and terribly anxious the next.

Right now, I happen to be out of my mind anxious. I could throw up. I'm "what if'ing" myself to death. After telling the bank that I wanted to drop the life insurance policy on my evil former step dad, I've fretted about it ever since. I mean, that's my brother's DAD. That's his father's LIFE INSURANCE to him. And I'm just saying "I'm not signing a document, so none of you are getting any money when he dies". But REALLY! What other choice do I have? I have had ZERO communication with these people in many, many years. They have had nothing to do with me, and cutting off all ties, neatly, cleanly, is the best thing, the ONLY thing, to do. I can't be tied to them every year - trusting they'll take my money and apply it to the life insurance policy. I don't trust them with my money, and I can't be upset like this every year - or more so. My quality of life would go so far south that it's simply not worth it.

Mark said I'm silly to think that my mother will try to call me over this. He said "she never has before, so why would she now?". Yes, in the 10 years since he's known me, he would be correct. She's NEVER tried to contact me. Can you believe that? My own mother has wanted nothing to do with me in 10 years? It's actually been a lot longer, but that's his only reference. He's wrong, though. In the last 10 years, she hasn't WANTED anything from me. Oh yes, when the trust started less than 20 years ago and I had to be contacted for everyone to start receiving payments, you'd better believe she contacted me, and boy, was she ever sweet about it, too. Once I'd done my part, *poof*, she was gone. And now...over a life insurance policy that she owns 1/3 of, and has been paid on since the 1970's...well, Mark just doesn't know her AT ALL. And for me to do something to hurt my BROTHER? Oh my God, she's going to have a fit. He just doesn't know. Hopefully this can all be done through the bank. I *will* allow her to "buy me out" as the bank suggested as an option - but it will have to be at face value, what I would get upon his death. Not a penny less. I will not compromise, and why should I? He was evil, she let it happen, and if she wants to "buy me out", I consider it perverbial "blood money". It's either that and everyone leaves me alone for the rest of my life, or we all get $5k apiece and they all leave me alone for the rest of my life. Either way, it's a win-win, right? So why do I feel so awful about it all? It's all about not having to communicate with them once a year. My God - I could NOT go through that! It's for my own sanity - I've been through counseling over this very thing!

God help me if it happens at work. See? This is where I start freaking out. I picture myself answering my cell at work, and it's her, and I just go berzerk in the room with everyone listening.


I'm supposed to be at work right now, but I woke up, and could NOT keep my eyes open. My boss is going to think I'm taking advantage of the fact that I took him home last night because he didn't have a car and he made me wait until 7:30, but that's not true. I honestly don't know why I couldn't get up. Depression?

I was going to write an entry last night, but I was so depressed, I was thinking "how do I write what I'm feeling? There are no words to describe this.". This is probably a very boring post, but I need to record it for future reference.

I haven't spoken to my mother or brother in years, and now we're trying to make decisions regarding the trust my grandfather left us. We aren't contacting each other, and I finally broke down and called the bank and told them we have a "strained relationship", explaining our situation, and she was going to tell the trust officer, or whatever he's called. I think everything will be okay, except for one thing. There's a matter of a life insurance policy. I decided to do away with it so we don't have to communicate every year for the payments, and I don't trust them with it anyway, and take a big hit on what we would have gotten when my evil former step dad died. They may be PISSED, because they are going to find out my decision from the bank, and they have to agree to it, too.

It made me SO DEPRESSED having to tell this to a stranger - the relationship status with my family. I started to cry at work, but kept it in. I wanted to talk to someone, anyone, so badly, but who could I talk to? First of all, people would think I was "pretentious" for telling them I have a trust fund at all, and secondly...I didn't want to go through the whole relationship thing AGAIN. I do have 2 good friends at work, but they don't know about my family nor the trust fund. Ha - guess they're not such good friends, are they?

I WAS okay, but now that I'm forcing myself to think about it to write about it, I feel depressed again. It was SO BAD yesterday that I was just staring at things and didn't even realize it until I caught myself doing it and wondered, how long have I been doing this? Did anyone see me?

It's a depression that could make me cry, yes. But it's so much MORE than that. It's in my chest, my shoulders - it's PHYSICAL. So hard to describe that I just don't know how. I feel like my whole body is overcome by it. Mark actually YELLED at me last night. He screamed "Stop doing that!!!", and I said "what?", and he said "you keep looking sadder and sadder!". I understand where he's coming from - he was probably scared that I might fall into another suicidal depression, but I won't.

I'll snap out this, right? I'm sure it's just temporary. But the more I have to keep telling strangers about my relationship with my family will only make it worse.

Guess I'd better finish getting ready for work.

I Hate People. I Hate Today.

I'm burned out at work. EVERYONE annoys me. I can't STAND anyone. Every little thing people do drives me nuts inside, and I don't really want to be there. I guess that's why we get paid, eh? I still work hard, although I'm a bit more lazy about things.

I think I said something bad today. We have a new girl in our "room" in our office who sits next to our boss, and she's black. I was actually on the "panel interview" that decided if she was going to be hired, and I really liked her - I still do. She's not the only black person I work with, just the only one within earshot of what I said. My candidate that may get hired by a particular company is hinging on one "vote" - they do everything as a "team", so to speak. So if the majority doesn't want that person on board (up to the CIO level), then it doesn't happen. Well, the votes are either 4-3, or 4-4, and we're waiting for one more person to "sound in". I thought the Account Manager had explained to my candidate the situation, and was horrified. When I found out she hadn't, I said "oh good, because it would be horrible if he got hired to know that people had 'black-balled him' ". Is that bad? As soon as I said it, I said "Oh, ,that wasn't a very nice thing to say" out loud, but no one commented or even looked up. Sometimes I don't know what is okay and what I grew up with is inappropriate because I don't understand the original meaning? There are little sayings like that, and I feel uncomfortable sometimes when other people say something that I perceive is inappropriate. Why do I feel that way? Why do I have to feel anything? I just said it - I didn't MEAN ANYTHING. Was I just a dork thinking that was bad, or was it really a racist thing to say? I only thought of it again later because she seemed to have a little bit of an attitude at the end of the day, but....I can be weird that way and perceive someone to have one when they don't.

Bipolar Girl (whose doctor told her she is not Bipolar but has ADHD, and that's it - whatever) is driving me NUTS with her optimism and her new found confidence about her job. I should be happy for her, right? But I'm not. She actually had a really good run - 3 placements in a few weeks. None were major (see, I just had to cut it down, didn't I?), but I would be happy with it if it were me. Now she's a distraction for me. When I hear her excited, I get down, because I think she's got a good candidate for a job that *I* am trying to fill, too. I used to think "she's not good at her job - she can't match skills and people to openings", but now...I think maybe she can. And when you're making placements, which she wasn't doing before, people respect you a lot more in the office. The thing is....she's my FRIEND. But damnit, this job is SO COMPETITIVE. I mean, all the bad things I say about her on my blog and to Mark - it's horrible.

And yet, she passes my "friend litmus test". Surely everyone has one, but mine is probably the weirdest. My test is asking myself "if this person called me in the middle of the night and was in jail, would I get out of bed and bail them out?". Wait, that's the second test. The FIRST test, and this is HUGE for me, is "when I check the caller ID when my cellphone rings, do I answer the phone?". So yes, if she called me in the middle of the night, I checked my caller id and saw it was her, I'd answer the phone. If she said she was in jail for say...unpaid tickets...I'd come and bail her sorry self out. I guess I've never gotten into the "reasons" phase with myself yet. For example "is she such a good friend that you'd bail her out for a DWI?". I dunno...that sounds really expensive. "A hit and run?". Uhhh...I dunno? Why'd she do it? I guess I need to rethink my "would you bail her out of jail in the middle of the night" scenario. At least it beats my OLD test. Do you want to know what it USED to be? And this is SO HORRIBLE that I can only put it on my blog, and pray that no one that I ever know will find it. "If they died, would I cry?" Surely everyone thinks weird things like that. The truth of the matter is, I think I *would* cry if someone I knew died whether they were my friend or not, just because I'd feel sorry for the family or something like that. But why did I ever come up with "if they died..." to begin with? Maybe my new test could be "If they died, would I go to their funeral...."....? That wouldn't work for work friends very well, as it would probably be required. (I'm really awful today)

I'm just in a really pissy, non-social, I hate people mood today. I want everyone to leave me alone, and maybe it's just because I went to bed at 12:30a and got up at 5:00a.

Mark did call and make me laugh during the day, though. He was walking around the office, and one of his friends came up behind him and said "do you know the back of your pants are ripped?". It was on the butt, by the way. Well, I was thinking it was a tiny tear on the seam, right? Wrong. It wasn't on the seam, and it was a rip from top to bottom, showing his gray boxer briefs! Shouldn't he have felt the wind on his legs or something? And how do you rip your pants like that and not KNOW it? He said it must have just "worn out". How the HELL do your pants wear out on the butt from top to bottom, not on the seam, in one morning without you knowing about it?

I hate today.


I don't know WHY this is bothering me all of a sudden. Mark and I have been together for TEN YEARS this month. TEN YEARS! Am I going through a crisis?

I wonder how much of what I feel is "hormonal" (at the end), just plain me, or my feelings over-emphasized due to my disorder. I've always felt so PASSIONATELY about some things - so much more than other people, and I've never understood why. I realize that part of being bipolar means that I feel so much *more*, and must take medication to keep my moods and feelings regulated to a "normal" level, whatever THAT means. I get very intense about certain issues, and I'm only now learning to keep my mouth shut when appropriate.

Why should Mark feel so strongly about the same things I do? Why do we have to believe the same way about EVERYTHING? Am I an "all or nothing" "black and white" type of person? Do I think that either we "believe the same things" or "are totally opposite", and nothing in between? I think I am - but...what things are important and what aren't?

I watched "An Inconvenient Truth", and I know it has changed people's lives, practically - the way they think and do things. I can see why. I feel the same. But it's not enough for me (and many others). I want to convince neigh-sayers, too - but isn't that part of it? Weren't we being asked to "spread the word"? Guess who the two biggest neigh-sayers I know happens to be? Mark and his Dad. I asked Mark to watch an Inconvenient Truth, but of course, he wouldn't. He claims it's because of Al Gore.

I can't complain too much about Mark and thinking global warming is a "sham" (I can't even believe I'm typing that), because he has made our house so energy efficient to save money, and is so much better at conserving energy than I am. We already have the right light bulbs, and have for the past year! The only improvement I can think of is to go back to recycling. He's 100% for it.

If our ends are the same, do the reasons need to coincide? Does he really have to believe that the planet is heating up for me to be okay? And what if he actually does believe the planet is heating up? He DOES believe the planet is "wearing out", but says there's nothing we can do about it, and blames a lot of it on population. He fully recognizes the weather changes and makes statements half seriously, half jokingly "do you think it's the end times?", so he knows there's a problem. Does he have to believe it's *my* way of thinking? Should I be stubborn and think he does? But isn't that what an activist DOES? Change other people's ways of thinking?

If I write letters to my Congressman and woman, online to newspapers and sign petitions, what about the person in my own house? Why do I always leave him alone? It's as if I know better than to "go there".

Am I just picking fights? Am I just making him feel bad? He's apologized again and again for making me cry Friday night, and said he feels horrible about what happened. I keep bringing it up, though. Today I said "MIT Professors - don't you think THEY have some of the brightest minds, yet they could be making so much more money if they weren't teaching?". I hit him where it hurts - Math, Science and Technology, his strengths. Again, he apologized. How many times does he have to apologize before I let him off the hook?

Why do I bother? Why does it matter? Why do I care? They say you should pick your battles. How do I know which ones to choose?

I'm an Idealist

It's almost midnight, and I'm watching "Live Earth", and downloading "An Inconvenient Truth" from Amazon. A little overkill, ya'think? I started going around the house turning out lights, etc., and I haven't even watched the documentary yet! I did check out the Live Earth website though. Damn it all to hell if I didn't miss John Mayer! I'm not too bummed - I know it will be on YouTube eventually. :-)

I figured out why I was so INCREDIBLY upset with Mark last night. I couldn't put my finger on it, exactly. He was saying he was a "capitalist", which I am too...yet, I believe there are people in the world who want to change the world - who have hope that this country can and will be a better place, and are making concentrated efforts to make that happen. Yes, I'm an idealist. Every personality test I've ever taken says so. It was not some "bipolar moment" or the fourth of a margarita I'd had. I mean...I was SO UPSET my neck had broken out into a rash - eczema.
He was challenging and negating my very core - everything I truly believed - all the hope I have in humanity, basically.

I've never quite felt that way until last night, and to come from my "significant other" floored me. He claimed at one point that I was talking "hippie talk". No, I was talking about people doing GOOD in the world for the sake of making the world a better place and not for the almighty dollar.

Am I the only one that believes there are people in this world that truly do this? Of course you're going to cite people like those who graduate from college and join the Peace Corps, etc. When I recruited physicians, I spoke with many who would not work for money, and wanted to donate their talents to third world countries. I only wish *I* could do so much. I do what I can - pray for people constantly, mostly under my breath. I smile and say "please and thank you", as sweetly as I can in the drive thru, hoping maybe I made their day a little better. I tip large, thinking of the single mothers who could use the extra dollar or two, write my Congressman and woman about issues that are important to me to CHANGE this country into what I believe will make it better for everyone. I BELIEVE in change - we desperately need it in so many areas, and I want to be a positive influence in that way. I'm not trying to earn a buck by making change. If anything, I'm GIVING money to do it - to the ACLU, to - whatever cause, whether anyone that is reading this or not believes the causes I've chosen are appropriate, I think will do it the best.

I'm not trying to convince anyone that I'm a saint. I'm a loser. I should be living my life trying to change the world. But I have to make a living, too. Maybe saying little prayers for people I see walking down the highway without a car may not be much,'s something that I hope someone would do for me.

I tried to explain all of this to Mark today, and he tried to explain how his way of thinking worked with my way of thinking. For example, my trying to conserve energy - we already have the energy-conserving light bulbs, and have for at least a year now. HE bought them to save money - an after-effect is that they save electricity. He said we're both working towards the same thing, just for different reasons.

Is that okay? For me to be an idealist, and him to be...whatever his "label" would be? He said it's not selfish to want to be able to support and take care of your family financially, and as good as you possibly can. I agree with that, but it's so much MORE than that.

He said that the best, smartest brains go where the money is last night. That's what hurt. That's what upset me. I don't believe that. I can't believe that.

It simply isn't true.

But...we're getting along really well today, actually!

Money - Root of All Evil?

Mark and I got into a huge...uhmmm...."discussion" over dinner last night. The margarita I'd had didn't help.

It all started with him telling me, because of WHERE he works (some might consider it an "evil empire"), that his company was daily rebuking Michael Moore's movie "SICKo". I have not seen the movie, have a general IDEA of what it's about, but don't even know the overall concepts. I purposefully have not been following it because of where Mark works - how horrible it would be of me to go against, so strongly, what Mark does for a living. Michael Moore even attended the preview of his movie, and then went to Mark's company and protested with camera crews outside!

Well, he just brought up one "rebuke" his company made of the movie, and I was only going to listen. The comment was that someone had died in Canada waiting on treatment because of socialized medicine. Well, I told him, we're not Canada, that's not our solution, OURS could be much better than that, so it's not applicable. Comparing us and what COULD BE to Canada was like comparing apples to oranges.

That did it. We got into a full blown..."ahem"...discussion, with people all around us, that got pretty heated.

He started tearing down, without realizing it, my entire "belief system". One of the things he said was that the smartest brains would go where they could make the most money - such as the U.S. and capitalism. I don't agree. I've recruited for physicians, and there are many that work in deprived countries for free. I told him I just didn't believe him - that people were that way - that I believed that they were overall "good", and not "evil", thinking of the almighty dollar first, and not helping people. Of course, he took offense of my calling people "evil" who want to make money, whom he said are just trying to support their families. Sure, there are many that go into medicine thinking they'll be rich (not that they are), and I'm not saying they don't deserve to be, but there are a lot who want to HELP people, and it's not about the money. They would stay in Canada because that is their goal - to help Canadian people (for example).

Anyways, I started REALLY crying. Just the idea that people weren't what I thought they were hurt me tremendously. To think that everyone was greedy and after the almighty dollar meant that they weren't innately good to me, I don't know why. He said they can be both, and I agree, but I also said that there are people who don't care about money and care about helping people first.

Am I wrong to get so upset about this, and cry? Am I just hormonal, or was it the margarita? I really feel like he was attacking my belief system, and at the same time, he felt the same way. I never SAID that socialized medicine was the "way to go" - it just went way beyond that. He felt that I was attacking capitalism and good medical treatment in the U.S., along with everything that America stood for, apparently.

I still feel like I could cry about how I took what he was saying - that the smartest brains go where the money is. I just can't believe that people are like that. Now I feel HORRIBLE about my own career. Sure, I find jobs for people, but why? For MONEY. Is money the root of all evil? Shouldn't I be volunteering, or making less money for a good cause - such as working for the government or something?

On another note, Mark has been, what I perceive, to be clingy lately. I have no idea what is up with that. As I said in a previous post - what did I do? What did I say?

More on Jumpers at Golden Gate Bridge

Since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, there have been more than 1200 (!!) suicides of people jumping over the bridge to their death. This is more than anywhere else in the world, yet the city refuses to put up any kind of "barrier" that would save lives. I find this strange in a liberal town bustling with causes for everything - including Trees. Across the river, the "Bay Bridge" has had a total of 0 suicides...bizarre, huh? WHY the Golden Gate Bridge?

There is approximately 1 suicide every 2 weeks on the bridge - so many that there are groups who "bet" with cash on which day of the week the next suicide will occur.

I am totally obsessed with the Golden Gate Bridge now, after seeing the documentary, and now I've found the article that the movie was based on originally. It's FASCINATING as hell.

It's long, but well worth the read. No, I'm not contemplating suicide, even though I've been writing about it a lot. As I said, once you've been to "that place", the "option" never truly goes away...

Article: Jumpers, by Tad Little of the New Yorker.

More Than Words

Happy 4th of July! I was amazed I found this picture of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco with fireworks in the background! I have this....*thing*....for the Golden Gate bridge after watching "The Bridge" documentary.

AAS is right in his comment - the male ego is INDEED very fragile. I don't think I realized just HOW fragile. Wow. Mark and I got into an argument last night after I'd gone to bed, and he said he was awake until 4:30 this morning. I would have talked it out longer, but he just doesn't understand - my medications knock the hell out of me, and I'm drugged up and drowsy after I've been in bed for say...30 minutes. BAD time to try to have a long discussion with me. But...I think this argument has been coming for awhile, and I just didn't know it. The real issue was brought to light. He got up before 8:30 this morning, when he normally sleeps until 9:30-10:00 on days he doesn't have to work. He was STILL upset. I really tried to understand, but I was upset, too. Finally I realized my mistake and misunderstanding, and explained it to him the best I could, hoping he would believe me and my sincerity, and thank God he did, at least I hope.

So after talking awhile, and letting time pass for him to settle down, I just came out and asked him what AAS had said.."is the male ego fragile?". Of course he thought it was a bizarre and "off the wall" question, but he answered it, anyway. He said he feels very confident at work and in other areas of his life, but not in his appearance, and he said something else that I can't remember, but I guess around me? What the hell did I DO? Is it something I've done, or just guys in general feel this way? I TELL him he's attractive, because he is, but are words not enough? Is it like the song "More Than Words"? Obviously more physical attention is in order, but after the argument, it's a full blown "issue" now.

I don't even know if there are enough things for me to do or say - to help him through what I perceive is a "crisis"? I don't even know if it's *me*? How do I know this isn't all about some girl he met in Chicago? I mean, all of a sudden he's working out, eating healthy and losing weight (he doesn't need to lose any, although the 10 pounds he lost looks good), and he bought some clothes. I told him if he starts buying underwear, that's when I get suspicious. :-) I think I heard that somewhere, but maybe that's when a girl has an affair, not a guy.

I have NO CLUE WHAT TO DO. I want to build his confidence - he SHOULD have a lot of confidence, he's got so much going for him, but how? Obviously I've done *something* wrong, and recently, but what? And when?

As a matter of fact, he's upstairs running on the treadmill as I type this. I feel so damned GUILTY of whatever it is that I DID. I must be a horrible person to make someone feel like this about themselves, especially the person I care about the most? What kind of person am I? I wish I knew how to undo whatever it is that I did. But what if I didn't do ANYTHING?

This will definitely take more than words, that's for sure. If words were enough, there wouldn't be a problem.

"Do You Tell?" So Far...

Wow! I'm amazed at how many people took the time to answer my poll "Do you tell people you're bipolar?" because I REALLY wanted to know. Thanks so much to those who voted - you're awesome! (all 4 readers who voted 25 times apiece!) :-) The poll is still on the left hand side of the site.

Everyone has their own "theory" of what's right and wrong to do regarding their illness and "coming out of the closet", so to speak. I was curious as to how many people actually did that, or kept it close to their vest.

Out of 103 votes (to date), here is the breakdown:

Do you tell people you're bipolar?

Yes, close family members: 47 votes (46%)
Yes, family members and close friends: 22 votes (21%)
My family, friends and coworkers know: 7 votes (7%)
I tell everyone I meet - even strangers! 4 votes (4%)
I never tell unless there's a benefit from it: 8 votes (8%)
I will never tell unless forced: 9 votes (9%)

My vote? "I never tell unless there's a benefit from it". I don't mean anything BAD by it - I just mean I won't tell my employer, for instance, unless I had to be hospitalized and needed time off. Otherwise, why take a chance of being discriminated? If a friend were telling me about their own mental illness and I wanted to be closer to her/him, then I might tell, but that hasn't happened yet. That's all I meant by a "benefit" from it. I didn't mean anything like sitting closer to the window or having an extra potted plant on my desk. :-) I feel so....selfish now! I guess my Dad knows, but...there was a benefit from that, too. I was TRYING to get him to go to the psychiatrist, was trying to convince him of our family's mental illness (which he didn't deny), my own diagnosis, and how much my doctor had helped me.

My Dad is flipping NUTS. He sends me these forwarded "zen" type of emails maybe...twice a day? They come from all different kinds of religions, and it's so obvious that he's searching for something...ANYTHING...for enlightenment and soothing for his mental anguish and soul. I want to tell him to STOP! I don't need enlightenment and I don't have any mental anguish that one of 20 Gods need to save me from myself! I never reply to them, and just hit "delete". Perhaps God works in mysterious ways, but...not through my Dad of all people. He doesn't need enlightenment, he needs drugs to fix his chemical imbalance!

I keep thinking of "The Bridge" documentary...once you've watched it, the pictures just don't go away in your mind right me on this. But I didn't realize how beautiful the Golden Gate bridge actually is - and I've been on it, and of course I knew it was RED, was well produced and the color was contrasted and brought out so well. The guy...Gene...with the long hair that paced back and forth that jumped off the bridge in the end so dramatically - I'll never forget that for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow's the 4th, and since I live in TX, it's been raining like CRAZY and I doubt there will be any "celebrations". I wasn't intending on going to any since I have to be at work bright and early on Thursday morning. My boss was actually "gracious" enough to let us leave at 4:00p "if we recruited HARD all day!". Wow - a whole hour off! The sad thing is, I actually felt privileged! I had already decided I was going to work until 7:00p, so it actually was a treat for me.

Mark is doing this "thing". He's exercising, eating well, and everything that's good for you - I think he's even lost 10 pounds, and you can tell! He looks great! But he said it's to be more attractive for *me*. That puts a lot of pressure on me. How am I supposed to act, what am I supposed to say? He says it so seriously. Is this how guys normally feel when their girls are dieting? Is it this uncomfortable? I *think* I've been catching him saying things that I haven't told him - only things that I've written in my blog. If so, like I've said, there's nothing in here that I wouldn't tell him or haven't told him already.

The time of day that is hardest for me to stick to my diet is in the evenings - after I've taken my nighttime meds, and they just came out with an over the counter diet pill that's not a stimulant! I couldn't find it at the pharmacy, so I ordered it online (it JUST came out). That will totally solve my problem of any binge eating. I'm back in the low 130's, and with the work trip to the beach coming up and our own trip to the beach with my squeezing into bikini's, I can't weigh 130-anything!!! I'm starting to freak a little. For 5'6", 125 is just about right, so that's only about 7 pounds, maybe? SURELY I can lose THAT, especially when it's weight that was recently gained.

I'm a "bad bipolar" tonight - up at midnight when my bedtime is 9:30 - 10:00p. I'm just not tired, but...up the stairs I must go....

The Bridge - Jumpers

I downloaded a movie from Amazon - called "The Bridge". In 2004, 24 people jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to their death. It was about an hour and a half long, and actually showed people at the bridge, jumping into the water, hundreds of feet below. The last jump was the most dramatic.

You'd be surprised at how many people in SF just walked by a potential "jumper", looked at them, and didn't even miss a beat in their walk past them. Can you believe that? Didn't even say "hey, what are you doing down there?" or "are you okay?". Except one guy - he actually picked a girl up by the back of the shirt and pulled her back over the railing.

I still think about suicide, but not seriously. I'm not suicidal, I don't want to end my life, and everything is going okay, comparatively. But ever since it entered my mind in 2001, it's never left COMPLETELY. It's always there in the shadows. Is that normal?

I still feel soothed by the idea that I can take my life at any time I choose. The thought actually puts me to sleep some nights.

I guess what bothered me about the documentary was that...except in the case of the guy who has bipolar disorder and actually survived the was all about the survivors. But, of course it was - who was left to tell their stories, right? They talked about what the jumpers "must have been thinking", how they were acting, what they'd been saying, etc. The Bipolar Guy didn't really articulate what he was thinking or feeling at the time - his Dad actually did that much better for him than he did himself.

The thing is....they mostly talked about it in the form of how they had learned to "deal with it", or "come to peace" with it. It made me wonder - was this movie made for morbid curiosity? What was the PURPOSE? Is it horrible that I have no sympathy for the survivors? I live in a family where suicide is real, too, and I can no more tell you why my aunt killed herself than those people can talk about their friends.

I want to know...What about the jumper? How did THEY feel? What made THEM do it? I'm sure there are letters, diaries, hell, even I keep a blog!

One mother said something that gave me pause for thought. She said maybe her daughter just got "tired" of knowing she'd be dealing with her mental illness for the rest of her life and couldn't deal with it. I rarely, if EVER, see myself my 60's...with BP Disorder. I keep thinking I'm going to get BETTER and BEAT this disease! But the reality? I'm probably not, and I don't let myself believe that. That's a tough pill to swallow, and a nasty bit of reality I don't let myself ACTUALLY think about. Am I incorrect in saying this disease will actually worsen as time marches on?

What I wanted to SCREAM to these survivors in the movie was how it FEELS - wanting to take your own life - the pain, the grief, the overwhelming intensity and how unbearable it all is. They totally missed the point. How desperate you are for RELIEF, if only for a few seconds. You would do ANYTHING for relief from excruciating pain. Many might say the jumpers were cowards - unable to face their lives, and they should have just "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps" - gone on with their lives - worked to better themselves and think more positively. Just work HARDER, right? To stand at the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge and make that jump? To be a coward? I can't think of anything more brave. I know people will argue with me, and are thinking "what a horrible thing to say - jumping off a bridge is brave", but...I couldn't do it at my lowest moment, I don't think. I'm too chicken. I watched in horror and amazement at them - they must have felt pain so much more excruciating than I ever have, are simply 1000x more brave, want to end their lives more dramatically, or maybe even on a more "romantic" scale by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

When I was suicidal, the pain was unbearable, and I cried every day and night for God to take my life. It would have been so much easier than taking my own. To this day, I have no idea where Mark keeps our gun in the house, and he won't tell me.

One good piece of advice came from the Bipolar Guy's Dad, and he's spot-on. It's very important to take your morning meds at the same time, eat your meals at the same time, take your nighttime meds at the same time, and go to bed at the same time. I'm much more stable than I WAS before I started my regime that I read in a "Bipolar Handbook" a few years ago.

I hope that I never go back to that "dark place", but in "The Bridge", I found myself relating to the jumpers, yet...I wanted to hear from them, too - but from THEM, not just their survivors' rationalizations and what lets them sleep at night. I'm glad they've come to terms with it, but I didn't feel they ever actually GOT IT when the movie was done. They never truly UNDERSTOOD.

It was just a documentary showing jumpers off the Golden Gate Bridge, and survivors worried more about what people would think of THEM having friends/loved ones who committed suicide, than having concern for their own friend/family member. Not all, but most.

Maybe I shouldn't be so upset. It's something that just can't be explained, and has to be experienced. And that's one experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy in a million years.

I'm so glad I haven't felt that way in years, and I hope I never do again. However, history shows.... and that's why I keep taking my highly loathed medication day in, day out. I can't TELL you how much I hate taking that medication. It's what separates "me" from the "normal", and a big, black, crusty secret I have to keep.

"Space Out"

I woke up around 9:30a this morning after going to bed at about 4:00p yesterday afternoon from 5 Seroquel. Mark was pretty mad at me. I'm back to my old "tricks" again, stating "we should just break up". I don't really mean it when I say it, but I just say it. It's almost like a this what he is really wanting and I'm making it easier on him? I don't know what the hell I'm doing when I'm saying it. It ends up turning into the big discussion that goes nowhere, with me looking for a loft in my city, and going nowhere with that as well.

Nickelback is coming to my town in August!!! :-) They'll be here on a Sunday night, so Mark will FOR SURE be able to go with me and won't be out of town. I've been looking for really good tickets, and it looks like they just aren't available. Daughtry is opening for them, so I'm sure that isn't helping my my search. What an awesome concert that would be if I could go!

I don't know what is wrong with me lately. I hope I don't do anything stupid - just in general. I don't mean like have an affair, I just mean...allow my relationship to go down the tubes because I feel apathetic, or keep OD'ing on Seroquel, have no motivation at work and let deals slip through my fingers, etc. uncaring in general.

I used to call it "spacing out" a long time ago. If something was bothering me, I would say, or people would say, I'd just "space it out", meaning, I would put it out of my mind and not think about it. I was able to completely forget it and put it out of my mind. For instance - $3,000 worth of parking tickets. Not having insurance on my car for 2 years. Paying my credit card bills. When I was younger, the abuse of my step-dad, which is where I learned it in the beginning. I haven't had that "coping" mechanism in many years now (which isn't a HEALTHY coping mechanism), but it's coming back? I wonder what the mental trigger for THAT was.

I've wondered many times...if I'd had that "coping mechanism" of being able to "space out" something when it was really bothering me before I got so depressed and went to the psych ward, would it have ever escalated to the point it did? Maybe I just wasn't USED to having to deal with something face on, and that was the first time I did it. I stayed in touch with my feelings, they were overwhelming, and my body couldn't handle it? I mean...SOMETHING was the trigger, and I KNOW what it was, but MY GOD, people get promoted over other people all the time. The thing is, just thinking about it TO THIS DAY, 6 years later, and I start to cry. Right now, I feel a huge lump in my throat and tears are starting to well up in my eyes. It's not helping my headache, either. Isn't that bizarre? All that happened is that someone else got a promotion that I thought should have been mine. But was so wrong and so not fair...and the way it all went down...

Maybe if I could make myself not care about work right NOW, my life would be so much better.

Yes, trying to get good seats to Nickelback would be a very healthy thing for me. Something to look forward to outside of work. And...Nickelback has seen me through the last few years - the good times and the really, really bad. Like this song - reminds me of when I lost Cody a year and a half it weird to still be sad and lonely for your dog - your best friend - 16 months later?
What the hell is wrong with me...I'm falling apart....

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