Sunday, April 29, 2012

Possible Cure for Agitation

I've thought of a possible solution to my probable current hypomanic situation without going to my psychiatrist who will change my medication.  I doubled my Lamictal today.  My psychiastrist has always wanted me to take one in the morning and one at night, but I never have.  I can never remember to take medication in the morning, so I stopped taking that part of the dosage of it, it and told him.  I was okay without it, so he didn't scold me, but he wouldn't change the dosage and kept writing prescriptions for two a day.  Every time I refill my prescriptions I always go ahead and refill Lamictal too, even though I don't need it and have a drawer full of it.  I guess I'm a prescription hoarder.

I also have a ton of Klonipin.  My psychiatrist prescribes two of them per day, and I only take one.  For that one, I do NOT tell him I only take one because I DO want to hoard them.  I haven't even finished my Klonipin prescription from last year, but have been getting refills that would have lasted until June if I had taken them as prescribed.  But I don't know when I might need extra, for instance today.

I was so agitated and so afraid of what I might do or say in my state of mind that I took two Klonipin, and it helped immensely.  But of course, that's just treating the symptoms, not the cause. 

I know I said I was going to stay away from social media, and I haven't been on Facebook in about a month, but even keeping that at bay didn't stop me from attempting to unleash my wrath.  I found myself starting to comment on news stories, angry comments, but luckily before I posted them, I remembered my frame of mind, and stopped myself.

I don't think I snapped at my husband, but I did share with him how I was feeling so he would understand if I was impatient or got upset with him.  It's so unfair to spouses who live with someone who is bipolar.  I just can't imagine what it must be like.  Maybe they're attacted to the rollercoaster ride, I have no idea.  I know I wouldn't be.  I do my best, I really do. 

I'm hoping I'll be okay by the time we go on vacation mid-May.  It's nothing out of control, I could have a good time the way I am right now.  It's just the poor judgement that worries me. 

Hypomanic Agitation

I think I'm hypomanic.  No, I know it.

I don't know when it started.  I do remember that I started talking more.  Mark and I would be watching television, and I was commenting during shows on EVERYTHING.  He was polite about it, but sometimes he would have to go back in the show to see what he missed when I was talking.  Then he mentioned that I seemed really happy.  I thought about it, and yes, I was happy, but there was nothing in my life bothering me, so why wouldn't I be happy?  Things would make me laugh really hard, but I wasn't all giddy.  My speech wasn't pressured.  It was just genuine happiness and a bit too talkative.

I have been waking up a lot during the night and getting up for an hour or so then going back to bed and able to fall asleep.  But that's not abnormal for me, it's just that it happens more frequently during the night.  And I don't feel tired the next day. 

But the last few days has taken a darker turn that has made me realize I am probably hypermanic, the side that is not so pleasant.  I'm agitated, irritated, angry.  I'll read an article in a magazine, on the internet, or play a game on my phone that involves other people I don't even know, and I get overwhelmingly agitated.  Now that I'm looking back, sure, the instances were not pleasant happenings, but I was not proportionately angry, and it lasted way too long, I couldn't just get over it.  I'm still angry, and there's no reason to be.  Nobody did anything to me directly.  No one insulted me.  No one hurt me.  No one threatened me.  Or anybody that I know. 

But see, at the time, I think what I feel is justified, to the extreme level that I feel it, and now I'm afraid of what I might do or say when I feel that agitated.  I have been in those situations in the past, and have said things things that I have greatly regretted.  I don't stop and think, "Is this rational?".  It just happens all too quickly.  Even knowing that I have this problem right now does not mean I won't keep myself from acting out on what I feel.  When it is that overwhelming, I sometimes feel I am justified to do or say something at that time, and will explode if I don't.  It would seem to be a great injustice if I didn't. 

I know, I should go to my doctor.  I know, however extreme I feel right now, I will feel that extreme on the other end eventually.  But I do NOT want my medication changed.  I don't want to be drugged up again, like a zombie, unable to wake up in the morning and gaining a hundred pounds.  I don't like feeling over-medicated, I don't like feeling medicated at all.  Isn't four medications for bipolar disorder enough?  Well, three if you don't count Klonipin, which I just took to hopefully take away the agitation. 

I haven't spent a lot of money, gone a shopping spree, although yes, I did have to buy a few clothes which my husband was with me when I bought because I had NONE that fit.  I'm in between sizes.  Either too big, or many of the clothes I used to wear are still about a size too small. 

If the hypomania hadn't turned into irrational agitation, I wouldn't have even cared, I would have just thought I was happy, and not even overly so, just a "spring fever" type of thing. 

But now I know to stay away from all forms of social media, because I have a habit of lashing out in those instances and regretting it.

That's why it's so important for me to keep a blog.  So I can go back in the future and look back and seee "aha, that's when it started and that's how I felt".  Hopefully I won't have to do that, though.
Monday, April 23, 2012

Bipolar Meds and Weight Gain

I won't mention staying fit for your spouse after this, but I do want to say to something to those who are upset about what I have said.

I, too, was outraged about a man telling a woman she should lose weight.  How could he?  Why doesn't he love her the way she is?  Kick him to the curb!  And as I said, my marriage counselor convinced me that appearance is very important to most men, I'm sure not all, like not every man chooses to be successful financially. 

So I did some research on the internet, and found forums where men were pouring out their hearts anonomously about their wives or girlfriends weight gain.  Yes, there were a lot of outraged and angry responses to their comments.  But I realized one common factor among the angry responders.  They were ALL women.  I've noticed that commonality on my blog as well. 

The one unfortunate problem with this is...being bipolar, and it is SO FREAKING UNFAIR!!  I took weight gainers for ten years and went up and down on the scale for years.  When I was cleaning out my closet, I found I have clothes in all ranges of sizes.  I would wake up in the morning and be so hungry that I would go to a fast food restaurant, order something, and literally cound not even wait until I got home to eat it.  I had to tear into the bag on my way home and start scarfing it down. 

I realized the big change in my appetite when my husband said I was going to order a pancake breakfast plus an extra breakfast from room service at the hotel every morning when we go on vacation.  He used to think it was funny.  And I realized "Wow, that used to be my life."  I had forgotten how hungry I used to be when I woke up.  It was so annoying waiting for room service to get there while I starved.   

I thought about it, and Catherine Zeta Jones is bipolar, yet she hasn't gained any weight.  I finally refused to take the weight gainers last year and told my doctor to find something that didn't cause weight gain, that was the #1 side effect I wouldn't put up with, and he did it.  So it can be done.  I'm not saying it's easy, everything is always trial and error, but it can be done. 

If drug companies can do all of these great things, why can't they make more bipolar medications that don't cause weight gain?  But now that I know that I don't HAVE to put up with it, I wish more people knew they don't have to, either. 
Friday, April 13, 2012

Younger Men - I Love Being a Girl!

It's so good to be back "in the world" again!  I started back at school this week, and I was nervous and dreading it at first because I had been home for about six weeks, but now I'm totally loving it.  I just can NOT sit at home without stimulation!  I told our marriage counselor about it, and she told me I sounded just like the women who come to see her who stay at home with their small children all day.  REALLY?  THAT is what it's like?  I would go INSANE!

I guess my appearance has changed dramatically, because I keep getting comments on it.  Yes, Mark has been telling me how great I look, but that's my husband, not that I don't trust what he says, he won't tell me I look good if I don't.  But when people notice things you've changed and like it and take the time to tell you about it?  That's really amazing.  I have changed a lot, I suppose.  I've lost over 40 pounds now, my hair is so much lighter, I get spray tans every few days, I have a completely new wardrobe, and this sounds crazy, but I actually get compliments on my silly lashes from Latisse!  I don't even think they're noticeable, but people ask me how I got them so long.  I keep thinking maybe it's because I changed mascaras recently, but they swear it's not.  Maybe I'm becoming a good sales rep for Latisse?  It has inflated my ego just a bit to keep hearing how great I look.  I mean, wouldn't anybody's?  I don't really feel I look THAT good.  I can think of a million things that are wrong with me that I need to fix.  And I intend to fix them! 

I went to lunch after school with two girls that are about my same age and I've always thought they were kind of prissy.  They always wear full faces of makeup to school, hair fully done, 4 inch heels, etc.  But now *I* got go school with makeup, dressed better, hair done, manicures, pedicures, not the 4 inch heels though, that's a bit ridiculous for me for school.  I used to roll out of bed, put my hair up, throw on clothes, and go to school, I thought it was just school, who cared what I looked like?  But it was important to Mark for me to take better care of my appearance, and our counselor made sure I knew how important it was to men, to husbands, so I took their words very seriously and have applied them.

I haven't been out with "the girls" for years, since I was laid off in 2008.  I was surprised at the reaction we got at the restaurant.  The thing is, I didn't even notice it, I don't see things they saw because I'm not a single girl, I''m not "scoping out" places when I walk in somewhere.  But they're both single, so I think they probably look around everywhere they go for people and see who is there and what they are doing.  I go somewhere, focused, and don't notice people around me.  So yes, men were paying attention to us, but I never would have recognized it if someone wouldn't have told me.

But the weird thing was this.  One of my friends can only attract men who around 25, the other seems to attract men who are about 30, and of course Mark is mid-30's.  So we were talking about younger men, and we had no idea our younger male waiter was listening.  Towards the end of our lunch, he made a comment to one of my friends, after apologizing for eavesdropping, how he liked "more mature women", but I thought "whatever, he just wants a bigger tip", and probably rolled my eyes and we ignored him.  But then we each paid and he brought our change and had already tipped him and he knew it, and then he stood there and gave us probably a three or four minute speech about how he liked older women and why.  The even weirder thing was, he was looking right at me the whole time he was talking.  Hello?  I'm the married one in the group, there is no chance with me.  Or any of us, I don't think they'd date a waiter, but he was cute, so I don't know, who am I to judge.

So he left, and one of them said, "Wow, he really put himself out there."  Then they started to talk about something else, and I said "Really?  Did he just do that?"  But they seemed unphased, like it happened all the time, so I guess I'm not used to living in the "single girl" world anymore.

They were talking about how long you wait to text a guy back, and you know, I haven't even dated since texting has been around.  I met Mark back in the 90's.  I asked them if they had ever tried online dating, and one said that it scared her, and the other said she only found losers (but she's quite particular and very picky in what she wants), and she told me what to expect from what guys said on their profiles.  For instance, and I told this to Mark and he laughed so hard, but so did I when she told me!  She said if a guy puts on his profile that he wanted to cook a girl a homemade meal, then that meant he wanted to get her in his house and have sex with her and she would want nothing to do with him.  I said, "But that sounds romantic and sweet to me?" and she said I was naive, ha!  Maybe I am.  I thought about it, and yes, she's right, for a first date at least, it would be really stupid to go to a stranger's house alone without knowing them. 

But they were both so right about one thing, and definitely Mark and my counselor would agree with them.  They were talking about how you have to take care of yourself to keep your husband or your boyfriend or attract a man, and obviously I knew it, because I had done so much.  They think, as do I, you can't just get married and stop taking care of yourself.  They've both seen it too many times where women get married and think "okay, I've caught a man, now I can stop taking care of myself", and years later, the guy moves on and they're devastated, even when the guy has been telling them for years to do whatever it is that is bothering them.  Maybe a guy who has no other options or low self esteem, I don't know.  I think it is wrong for a man to leave his wife for another woman over appearance and I don't think they all do, I'm sure many suffer like my counselor said her clients come to her to talk about their wives instead of leaving but want to, but I'm just saying, it happens.  Mark has a friend that had a lot of marital problems, but a big one was that he wanted her to lose weight and she wouldn't, that is, until they got divorced.  THEN she lost weight, and he was so mad about that.  She could lose weight to find another man, but not to keep the one she had.  And she didn't even want the divorce, she begged him not to leave!  I remember all the drama as it unfolded day by day, as Mark would come home and tell me the latest in the saga, but of course, only from his friend's viewpoint.  One of my friends had a friend whose husband wanted her to lose weight and she didn't, UNTIL he found another woman.  Then she got a tummy tuck, but it was too late, the other woman "already had her claws into him" (her words). 

I know it sounds so superficial, but there will always be someone out there prettier, skinnier, younger, and while I hate it, men are very visual.  I already know there are other women who want my man, why would I make it easy for them?

But I do think Mark and I will be together forever.  We're just relationship people.  I want him to be happy with me, and looking good makes ME feel good as well as him, so why wouldn't I do it?  It would seem to me, but perhaps not everyone, that girls who don't like to pamper themselves and buy new clothes and shoes and do all the girlie things are missing out on the most fun parts of being a girl!
Thursday, April 05, 2012

No Life Goals?

Tuesday and Wednesday I cleaned out the closet (extremely big job), and hangers are stacked everywhere in the garage, and bags of clothes to give away are piled high in the bedroom.  It feels really good to get rid of old clothes and clothes that are too big.  I tried on some of my clothes that I haven't been able to wear for several years now, and some of them fit already!  Not all, some aren't too close yet, but some do!  It seems like it wasn't that long ago that I tried on one of the skirts and wasn't even close to being able to button it, let alone zip it.  Now the zipper slides right up!

I'm so unproductive these days, except for cleaning out the closet.  I've basically been hanging around the house doing nothing, I've even stopped running.  I should have gone back to enroll for school this week, but I haven't yet, and it's Thursday, and school starts on Monday.  Mark and I have a marriage counseling appointment this afternoon, so I'm going to go to school after that.  When I start back to school, I plan on getting up early again and running twice a week during the week, and then once more on the weekend.  This sitting around doing nothing has to stop.  I haven't even been doing my transcription job from home.  Not a single audio file, and I've had plenty of free time the last few weeks, NOTHING but free time.  Days, even weeks of nothing but free time.  I don't know how to explain it exactly.  Why have I just sat here doing nothing?  I mean sure, I went to the grocery store, or got a spray tan, or got my nails done, but that doesn't take very long of an entire week.  I guess there were always doctor's appointments.  ALWAYS those, and I was always anxious about those.  Perhaps that was it.  I was always sitting around depressed and worried about my health - my cough, what was causing it, would it ever go away?  The lump in my breast, was it cancer?  Maybe that's it, I don't know.  But it seems like an endless time of doing nothing.  I guess at the very least I'm glad I wasn't sitting around doing nothing and eating.

I'm very anxious today.  I keep running to the bathroom.  Maybe it's just the coffee I had, or maybe it's the counseling appointment and going to school to enroll today.  I've got to jump start my life though.  My life can't be a wasteland forever.  It's very depressing, especially when you think you might have cancer and look at your life and realize, "maybe I never had any goals that I wanted to achieve that I didn't live up to anyway".  Why don't I have any lifetime goals?  It's depressing, actually.

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