Category Archives: Too Much Information

I’m Not Crazy, Just Bipolar

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Okay, so bipolar by definition pretty much means you’re crazy, but I read a book with that title and it made me happy.  Last week, I called my doctor and was talking to her nurse [named Joy, who happens to be one of my favorite people in the world] and I was talking too fast, and bursting into tears, and generally not making much sense, and she said to me, “Um, you need an appointment.  What are you doing this afternoon?”  It was 1:12 PM, and I was going to have to pick up kids from school at 2:30, so she said, “Can you be here at 1:30?”

“Yeah. Let me brush my teeth and I’ll be on my way.”  I might have changed my clothes, too, ’cause I don’t remember if I’d gotten dressed yet, but I was there by about 1:35.  They weighed me and did vitals, and in comes my doctor, asking what was going on.  I burst into tears mid-sentence, said I was feeling too crazy, told her about a trip through the internet I’d had earlier, and how I’d stumbled upon the term Bipolar 2 and so-called ‘Soft-Bipolar’ and that Bipolar 2 was scarily familiar.

I told her about seeing a psychiatrist years ago right after my son was born, and telling her about my crazy mood swings, and asked her then if I might be Bipolar.  She asked me if I’d every disappeared for weeks at a time, gambled all my money away, or gone on spending sprees or alcoholic binges. I hadn’t, so she said I was just depressed.

I was on Zoloft at the time, and it worked amazingly well. I’d been spiraling into a deep postpartum depression and Zoloft kicked me out of it.  I felt great. In fact, I hadn’t felt that good in forever.  I realized then that I’d struggled with depression since I was a very small child, like about age six.  I also knew that there had been times where I was really hyper and happy, but again, I’d never exhibited the ‘typical’ signs of mania, so my psychiatrist told me that was actually ‘normal’.

After a year or so, the Zoloft stopped working as well, so we raised my dose.  We continued to raise my dose until I finally decided I needed to find a non-med way of dealing with my depression. I found a book that was basically cognitive therapy written down, and put the lessons to work.  I managed to develop some coping skills, and thought I’d finally kicked my depression in the butt.

Looking back, I see now that I was probably rapid cycling for most of my adult life.  I know I’ve had normal days, and maybe even weeks or months where I was pretty okay. But the thing that stands out now is that about every six months or so, I would go through a time where I was having a hard time sleeping [insomnia is a given in my life and has been since I was a kid. The big difference now is that I take a LOT of meds before bed so they’ll make me sleepy enough I don’t have a choice but to go to sleep. In essence, they knock me out enough that I can’t think even if I want to, which allows me to go to sleep].

The creepy thing is, I can also see that there are times when I’ve been full on delusional and possibly manic, but due to geography and lack of opportunity, never got into nearly as much trouble as I might have. In other words, I was willing to do crazy things, but my friends kept me more or less grounded.  Growing up on a farm in the middle of nowhere may very well have saved my life.

In fact, once I could drive, I made some incredibly crappy decisions without any consideration of the consequences. The thing is, it’s still kinda hard to know what was just normal teenage behavior and what was outside of normal. I certainly wasn’t the craziest kid in town, but I definitely did things when I was hyper that I never would have done had I been thinking clearly.

There were definitely times that had someone offered, I would have done anything anyone suggested. But during my normal or depressed times, I was too shy to talk to the kids who would have encouraged that kind of behavior, and when I was manic [or hypomanic] I was angry at those same kids and hated them…so I avoided them anyway!

So much of my life makes more sense now.  I’ve been reading stories of people with bipolar disorder, and every once in a while, it hits me, “Dear God, that’s me.  It was always me.”  I’ve always had incredibly deep emotional highs and lows. I just feel more intensely than what can be considered ‘normal’.  Sometimes, I would have an intense high or low for no reason, and then go back in my mind to figure out what had caused the mood swing.  Now I know, there was no cause.  I mean, there might have been a trigger, but that’s not the same thing.

So looking back, I think my first manic or hypomanic state happened when I was about 13.  I spent the entire year completely hyper and pushing boundaries. The funny thing is, something always happened that prevented me from going through with some of my more erratic plans. My best friend and I had gotten caught skipping class and I believe we were suspended for a half day and got our parents called. So we decided we were going to run away from home. I missed the bus on purpose, and as my friend and I were walking out the front door to go somewhere that wasn’t home, my friend’s mom was waiting by the front door of the school and saw us.  My friend had an eye appointment she’d forgotten about.

My life is kind of littered with weird little coincidences like that. Things would happen to prevent me from going as far as I’d planned or been willing to go.  The few times nothing was there to stop me from making a bad choice, the experience was horrible enough that it scared me out of trying it again [or else it triggered an episode of depression, which sucked away my motivation].  One of the weird things about mania is that everything seems connected. It’s all a sign from God, or the Universe, or whatever.  It’s common to have spiritual experiences. It’s basically an altered state of consciousness without drugs.  It can be a time of wonderful creativity, or it can be horrible and incredibly self-destructive.

I never became suicidal to the point of actively trying to take my life, but I’ve been to a point where I wished I could die, and would do things that I knew could kill me if I got lucky.  Or unlucky, depending on how you look at it.  One of my more brilliant slow suicide attempts was when I started smoking at 18. I didn’t have the guts to attempt suicide, but I knew that smoking could eventually kill me, so I started.

So my first manic state was around age 13, and my second started right before I turned 19. Once I was 18, I had my driver’s license, so I was able to get into considerably more trouble than I had been at 13.  In fact, thinking about it today is still a little traumatic.  During that year or so, I lost my virginity through sexual assault, flunked out of nursing school, was sexually promiscuous with multiple partners, experimented with drugs and alcohol, and was generally a complete basket case.

I see now that my behavior during that time was completely out of character for me.  Looking back, and having read real accounts of what a mania episode looks like, I see that I more than qualified during that time.  In fact, writing even the briefest rundown of what happened to me during that year makes me cringe in shame.  I don’t want anyone to read it, and I didn’t even go into any real details.

It’s highly disturbing to realize that while most of my episodes have been with depression and hypomania, I’ve had distinct breaks from reality, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that they were far more frequent than I’d like to think about.

During the semester in which I managed to get kicked out of nursing school [I find that I want to tell you that I didn’t actually flunk out. I still had passing grades, all As and Bs, in fact. The reason my teachers didn’t let me continue was because I didn’t do my clinical papers.  Seriously. I didn’t graduate because I didn’t get my homework done. I could have sat and recited every disease process I’d seen, word for word, during my clinical time, but because I hadn’t written it down, I didn’t get to continue] I can’t help but wonder what might have been different if someone had been able to see my behavior as a manic episode.

It was 1993-1994, so chances are, I would have flunked out anyway, but still. If I’d have been diagnosed, they might have let me come back the following year if I’d managed to get stabilized by then.  There are some colleges that allow you to drop classes and take a leave of absence due to mental health issues.  God knows I needed one.  As it was, I got a mood stabilizer of sorts within a short time anyway. I met my future husband.

Which is where I need to end, because my current husband [who is the same guy! Let’s hear it for my beloved having the patience of Job dealing with a crazy wife all these years] is waiting for me to finish this so we can go on a motorcycle ride.  Cannot say no to motorcycle rides.  They are magnificent.  😉

Orgasms~ A Public Service Announcement

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This is one of those things that you shouldn’t read if you’re under 18. I’m putting the break in for obvious reasons. I debated about this entry, but I think that maybe this is one of those things that might help someone out there, so I’m gonna write it, even though it’s TMI and all that.
Read the rest of this entry

My Most Favorite-est Word In the World

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This may give you more insight to my personal character than you want, but it's 'shit.'

It used to be fuck, but I can't really get by with saying that one anymore [and I'm pretty bummed, lemme tell ya!]

I rather suspect that means I'm almost a neanderthal, but there you have it, folks. I blame it on growing up on a dairy farm [lots of shit there].  You have to watch for cow shit when you're walking in the woods at my parents' house. I'm really good at avoiding shit.  Shit is my favorite word, but not my favorite substance [although I've seen and dealt with more than my fair share]. 

When my mom was a kid, someone told her that putting cow shit on her face would take the freckles off.  She tried it with some really fresh, really gooey, shitty shit.  It burned her face.

Even though it didn't remove the freckles, her bright red, chemical burned face did  succeed in distracting people from her excess melanin spots.

In her defense, she was little [like maybe eight or so].  Who ever told her that was pretty mean, don't you think?

The other day, Michaela was yelling from her crib, "Momm-ay!  Ine POOP-AY!"  And she was.  Unfortunately, her new favorite thing is taking all of her clothes off, including her diaper.

I went into her room and found a piece of shit on the sheet [a 'shitty-sheet'] her diaper was off [obviously] and she had peed in the bed as well.

Steve happened to be in the shower [we were getting ready to go to Wednesday night church, of course]. So I carried her [at arm's length] into the bathroom and threw her in the shower with him [threw=placed gently].

As I handed her off to my beloved, I said, "Your daughter shit.  She's a shitter."

I had a friend once whose dad called little kids 'yard shitters.'  Well, my youngest is a bed shitter.  I think I'd prefer it if she shit in the yard.  That way I wouldn't have to clean it up. 

Brazilian Wax, Part 2

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Post one on my adventure is here. 

Okay, I said I'd be right back, but then shit happened, and now I'm a little late, but I was talking about my foray into Brazilian bikini waxing, and now I shall continue with a full description of what it's like to pull all of your pubic hair out…

Here is where I would put the break in with a warning that we're in R rated territory, however, those features seem to have disappeared for the time being and I have no idea how to fix it.

So consider yourself warned 😉

*Edited to add… I thought I'd lost my whole post [after spending a couple of hours on it] but then I hit the back button [thank God for the back button] and not only was my post there, but my spell check and all the other neat tools are back, so here's the break I was telling you about… 😛 * Read the rest of this entry

Oh My, He Did NOT Just Say That…

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So today, I was laughing at Steve [he was looking around for a hanger to hang his uniform pants on, a hanger that I had put in the pocket of the pants he was wearing, so he was looking around for a hanger he was already holding… oh come on, you'd laugh too!] 

He thought maybe I shouldn't be laughing so hard at him, so he threw me on the bed and jumped on top of me.  My feet ended up over his shoulders [tmi, I know, but we were fully clothed, and you need to know this].

So we're laughing and I'm trying to get away from him, when we hear, "Ugh, eww!"  From Matthew.  Then we hear footsteps into the kitchen and a yelled [at the top of his lungs because he only has one volume level].  "Dad's kissing Mom's butt!"

So now we're laughing uncontrollably, almost too much to move, and Steve lets me up so we can go explain that what he thought he saw wasn't what he saw…  Well, anyway, next episode.

Matt's been obsessed with super-powers ever since we watched Sky High.  He was truly depressed when I told him that he'll never be able to go 'in-visible' [one day he asked me, "Mom, where is visible, anyway?" or move stuff without touching it.

So I'm sitting here, and the kids are playing in the kitchen, and suddenly my ears tune in to what they're saying.  Matt says, "You could have 'puke power!'  That means you can puke when you want to.  Do you wanna have that power, Shaya?"

"Yes, I already have it."  Much fake gagging ensues and they run off to watch their dad play video games. 

So now Steve is cussing the video game, the kids are distracting him by talking to him, and it's time for him to get ready for work, so I have to go interrupt the bond-fest because Steve can't tell time when the GameCube is on.

Home At Last

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And it's freaking cold in my room.  Steve put the space heater in the attic before we left for vacation, and now I'm cold.

Oh well.  We got home and everything is in the living room.  Still.  Steve went back to work tonight, and I hope he's enjoying himself [I'm sure he is.  The man gutted hogs at a pork processing plant for a year and a half and loved it, so that gives you an idea of how easy he is to please!]

So the house is ridiculous.  We got home and realized that our back door was unlocked.  Nothing was missing, but I swear I locked the damn thing before we left.  Eesh.  

I left the front door open one night and the neighbor noticed it before we got home and went in to check things out with a baseball bat in hand.  Embarrassing.  So it's possible I left the door unlocked, but I could have sworn…

Oh, just up the street from us, a couple was arrested for having $17,000 worth of 'ice' in their possession.  Intending to sell it.  Lousy bastards.  Apparantly, ice is a more potent form of meth that is imported from Mexico.  Like straight home-cooked meth isn't bad enough? 

I guess people around here are cooking less of it themselves.  Thank God, that's some wicked shit to cook.  Steve saw pictures in the academy of burns people get from the ammonia and other stuff they use when cooking it.  One was of a two or three year old who was burned all over his arms and chest after he got into some of his daddy's chemicals.  Unbelievable.

I've never been one to really like being stoned or drunk [although I admit I have a real affection for Vicodin… but only because it makes me sleep.  I don't like to stay awake for the feeling, but drug induced sleep is wonderful.  Weird, I know.  Thank God it makes me itch like crazy or I'd be addicted.  As it is, I only remember fondly not being able to keep my eyes open and giving in to the bliss of sleep, because now the itching is so freaking bad it keeps me awake!]

So anyway, my heart pretty much precludes me using stimulants stronger than caffeine [and then only in drinks, and limited].  I tried 'mini-thins' once when I was a teenager [minithins are an asthma med… might be ephedrine, but I can't remember and I'm too lazy to look it up, but a lot of truck drivers used it as speed.  Which is where I got mine, at the truck stop].

Yeah, I felt pretty good for about 20 minutes and then my heart sped up and started skipping and I felt like absolut shit for several hours [and this after taking a half of a tablet] so speed of any sort has scared the hell out of me since then.

I guess it's a good thing, since I've never been tempted to try many drugs [had a couple of run-ins with pot when I was nineteen.  Didn't like that either, and then I got some that must have been either really good, or laced with something because I was seeing lightning bolts and felt like I had cataracts or something because I couldn't see very well, and I couldn't breath very well, and that was the last time I ever tried pot because I felt like I was numb and walking through water for two weeks afterward.  

Oh man, that was an awful experience.  I still have no idea what happened, and the guy I was smoking with swore that it was just some really good weed, with nothing else mixed in, so maybe I just had a bad reaction to it.  I dunno, but that was the end of my illegal drug experimentation.

Hey, guess what?  I had no idea what I was going to blog about when I started this, but I ended up rambling for a good spell, don't you think?

I'm home, and it is good.

Hello There!

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I'm still alive, but I'm on my mom's computer with a dialup connection so every minute I'm on the computer, her phone is busy.

We've had a great vacation so far.  Going home on Tuesday, where I will hopefully begin blogging regularly again [sounds like constipation, doesn't it?]  I'm homesick, but alas, Stevie thinks he needs to go turkey hunting, so we must stay for a couple more days, since the season doesn't open until Monday.

I don't understand the whole hunting thing.  In fact, if we could afford it, I'd probably be a vegetarian [and if I wasn't hypoglycemic and if soybeans didn't give me horrible gas… Hey! Lookie there, I get to classify this one as TMI!].

Oh well, I'm rambling because I'm short on time, and sleepy to boot.  Lethal combination for my coherency.

Vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks was relaxing and fun.  It's not the least bit exotic since I grew up an hour and a half from the lake, but it wasn't home, so it counts.  Missouri is pretty un-glamorous [but a lot of people come here, so maybe it's just un-glamorous to me since I've lived here my whole life… anyone else feel that way about their homeland?]

So anyway, the family has colds [except Shaya and me] so they're all grumpy and snotty, and Steve is supposed to sing at our old church in the morning.  I dunno if it's going to happen, though.  We'll see.

Anyway, this'll probably be all until Tuesday or Wednesday, so I hope you are all doing well.  Stay safe, and all that.