Tag Archives: bipolar disorder

You’ll Know it When You Feel it

You’ll know it. You’ll wake up and get into your car. Shaking off the grog you hear some solid rock, your steering wheel serves as an impromptu drum. No. It’s more. It’s a full drum kit. Get some oomph into. Now head bang. Close. We aren’t quite there. Now scream the lyrics when the chorus drops. Oh yeah, you’re there. And if you don’t think you are, give it an hour.

It occurs to me that many “normal” people probably do what I just mentioned. Not me, not normally.  I envy people that have that normal sense of energy or happiness. I don’t have that sort of function.  I only get like this when my manic states hit (Happy State Activate).  Actually, it’s not always happy. I get more mood swings in manic states. I don’t have the crippling sexual desires at the moment, just want to get into a fight.

Sometimes they’re all happy, and I will dance. Not right now. I want to fight. I want an excuse to scrap.  I haven’t been in a fight. Not a “real” fight anyway.  I don’t know why this happens in some of my manic states. I fantasize that this guy in front of me at the convenience store is about to pull out a gun when his hand goes to his waist. Oh, he’s just adjusting his pants. Damn. Wait what? No. An absence of guns is good.

I’m impulsive. It’s difficult. In that line, my heart becomes a war drum as adrenaline strikes me. BOOM DUM. BOOM DUM. I feel it in my head and face. I start to take a subtle stance. Then he just pays for cigarettes and my heart calms down. I’m better now. It’ll happen again later, but it’s been like that for years.

Oh, the sexual appetite stuff? Sometimes it is crippling.  I may have a project or homework assignment do, and I masturbate for hours instead. Hours. There are times when I have a similar urge and am not in a place where I can relieve it. Everything else around me starts to agitate me, I can’t focus. I’m simply trying to hide my erection that threatens to force an awkward situation.  In class I can’t focus. At work I can’t focus. In conversations, I’m absent even though I hear my words.

Anyway. It’s violent manic today. I like it well enough, I’m not ever going to hurt someone, but I’ll certainly kick up the Disturbed and other angry music.  When manic mode activates, you sure as Hell will know it.

 

 

 

 

 

Better Hop to It

Better get started. Don’t procrastinate. If it’s not worth doing now, then why are you doing it at all? For the grade? The job? So you can say “I told you so”?

When we want to work on something, no one has to tell us to “hop to it”. Besides what are we hopping to? It’s not a mad beat. We aren’t rabbits. Kangaroos? I wouldn’t mind being one, but unfortunately not the case.

Anyway. You start what you’re working on. You do it well. You do it right. At least if you have pride in your work, another lesson we repeat from our parents but may not have the convictions to match.

I don’t like it in here right now. I have to start my work, but my mind is abuzz. I guess some people have linear thought. I don’t. When I started my new job today, I walked in the door thinking “If we can just stay awake enough to get through the shift, our first class canceled, so we can sleep a bit then.”

We? It doesn’t bother me. And it shouldn’t I reckon, just chalk it up to quirks. Still it makes me feel abnormal in a bad way. I have to remind myself the things I do that others can’t. The things I’ve done that others didn’t. That I (we?) will do and others won’t. Some good, some bad. I’m smart. I’m also unstable though. I’m a mess, but I sure do like to organize and plan. There’s two of me in here. And I don’t mean that in a conflicting sense. He and I, we are the same. We don’t compete our ideas don’t conflict. We just think and talk. It’s just me really, I know that, you may not, but I do.

Sometimes though I get lost in “his” thoughts. They bleed over and I can’t figure them out. Then I lose my own. I mutter to solve problems to keep me on track, but professor calls you out sometimes for talking to yourself and suddenly you shut up.

I want “normal”. I’m not talking nuclear family, American dream, middle class. I’m not talking of normal personality, whatever the Hell that is. I’m not talking about getting rid of the other half. That makes me, well, me. What I want to be normal is function. I see people function on a couple hours of sleep, I need at least 14 to be mostly in the green. Anything else can be a risk. Despite all my noise, my hypnagogic hallucinations, my quirks and ticks, all I want fixed is the ability to work. I want to be able to go to school and stay awake. Not feel weak and konk out right after the shower in the floor. To be looked at weird when I try to articulate my symptoms in a way that isn’t computing.

I simply want to hop to it when I tell myself to. Not wonder what’s hopping where or why they don’t simply…..and the socks, they go……no no no no, that’s not how you….OH, that’s right I was doing something. Some say it’s discipline, but when you have my problems, whatever the source, neurological or otherwise, discipline means nothing, luck does. To hoping all this gets resolved some day, because I’m simply too exhausted to go much longer.

Every Day is Halloween

I have to wear a mask every day. Sometimes as an actor, sometimes as disguise. Sometimes I’m not wearing one, but playing a role that’s expected of me.  Sometimes it feels natural, who I am. Other times, I’m simply trick or treating.

Why am I here? I ask God and I never really get an answer. I get told I have purpose. I get told I will find my purpose. I get told when I’m on the right path, or on the wrong. But never why I’m here.

Another shitty day. I almost overslept. Rocket (my dog) was kind enough to be excited about the prospect of getting out of my room, that she jumped up on my bed, forcing me to wake up. Despite her excitement, I was running late and could not even let her out. I had to lead her to her crate and pretend not to be upset and ask her to be good and give her a toy that she won’t do anything with all day because she’s so upset. And I close it up telling myself I will find a way to let her still be a dog and not leave my life.  That seems more unlikely by the hour. It’s not right to keep her at this point.

I get to school, somehow safely despite my eyes going out of focus a handful of times and struggling to not drift off. I fall asleep in my car pretty much as soon as I put it in park. 20 minutes later, I’m running later than I’d like for class. I hop out of the car entirely too groggy, and lock my door and shut it to only realize I locked my keys inside. I was seized by an incredible amount of anxiety but couldn’t address it then, needed to get to class.

No idea why I bothered showing up for class though. I fell asleep through the entire thing. Even the quiz. I get a zero on a quiz I was present for. But somehow I can’t be treated for a sleeping disorder I’ve been trying to address for years, because specialists have to determine that I’m not lying I guess. Who wants the embarrassment of falling asleep in public places or falling out of your chair or getting to ride the bus for a full loop because you nodded off for more than a minute?

But I guess in theory I’m lying. Have been lying for 10+ years. I guess I like to keep lying to just get a chance at drugs or something? If I wanted drugs that bad, I would find a dealer. Hell, maybe I should. Doctors sure as Hell don’t seem to be doing much good. I’m getting failing grades because I fall asleep during quizzes, tests, and general lectures. What chance do I have if this is not addressed?

I first started trying to address my weird issues with insomnia in a serious fashion my first trip to the mental hospital. They doctors looked at me like I spit out a cockroach and eagerly dismissed my symptoms. But the symptoms haven’t gone away. Not even a bit. And everything feels like it’s conspiring to make me really fail out of college this time.

Then some good news, I get a voicemail that I was finally referred to a doc and an appointment set for March 6th. Thank God. Then, on top of that, I didn’t actually lock myself out of the car, because the passenger door was left unlocked (though it shouldn’t be). Then I fell asleep for a few in my car, relieved. Made it to my psychologist office and slept some more. This is around 3pm at this point. Then some more shitty stuff happens, delaying my return home and unburdening Rocket, while also costing some money.

Then I finally get home, getting ready to spend time with my fiance. And my roommate/landlord/cousin tells me we need to have chat. And it’s only a few things he says that make me realize how truly a shitty person I am. He tells me I’ve taken advantage of his family. I’ve allowed them to house me and pay for my insurance briefly without keeping my word to them. A brief flicker of anger reminded me how they treated my mom and me when she was still around. Like I was finally getting something from them. That died pretty quickly though, because that’s not who I am. I didn’t keep my word. And that’s shitty. And now I really need to get rid of my dog. Also very shitty.

For the first time in a while I was reminded of being in similar situations. When eyes would turn off me, I would hurt myself. I stabbed my hand. I intentionally fell down stairs. I overdosed on meds. I punched a wall. My cousin left for just a couple minutes and all I could do was suppress the urge to drive the nearby by screwdriver into my gut. Then I realized that was stupid, I wouldn’t get enough force, it should go for my leg instead. An odd immediate reaction. I would have hoped I saw how fruitless that was and wished it away instantly instead of that. I resisted. I didn’t dwell on that particular urge for more than a couple seconds. Punching the wall occurred to me, but no that wouldn’t do because it would cost my cousin money, instead I could just slam my head into my desk until I felt only a headache. Disappointed again my reflexes to my impulses, I suppressed this too.

Then I recalled when I overdosed. It didn’t seem that bad. It wasn’t a hard thing to do. If I did that then my family would have to lay off me. No. That’s not right. Then that made me feel more shitty for even jokingly considering suicide attempt and death risk as an effort to manipulate my family. What really is wrong with me? I don’t always know when I’m wearing the mask and when the mask is wearing me. Right now though, I don’t like me. I want out of this skin. It feels surreal, being this angry at yourself. Like your brain doesn’t even know how to process much else. There’s enough rationality to not do stupid things, but you suddenly feel like a passenger instead of the one in control. Maybe control will never be complete or real. Maybe it’s just a really bad day. Maybe I’m an awful person and I frequently will myself to forget that. Whatever the case, I’m exhausted, but now know I can’t sleep. I’m eager for today to end even though I will have the same problems tomorrow. Maybe I just want to turn everything off right now and reboot. I wish it were that easy.

On The Topic of Loss

I lost my mom in February. It’s been tough, but I made it to where my days didn’t consistently have reminders that she was missing.  Christmas hit in the stores, decorations, wrapping paper and music. I can’t look at them. They hurt to look at. Last Christmas was one where I made an effort to decorate for my mom because she didn’t want to for herself. And then she died on her birthday the February after. I can’t stand the thought of Christmas time as I make my rounds through the different aisles at work.

Then Saturday happens. I wake up groggy to the urgent concern about my father’s health. Rapid breathing, loss of oxygen and increased heart rate.  They give him some painkillers to combat it. He’s suffered a traumatic brain injury 15 years ago and kept beating the odds. He couldn’t say he was in pain. He couldn’t have a conversation or see, or do the things that lots of people do. All we could do for him was tell him exciting things and give him music and food. 15 years of slowly degrading health, requiring 24 hour round the clock care. When my mom passed, it became even painful to visit him. To be reminded of the things she did and that I was not getting anywhere close to completing or even taking on such daunting tasks. So when I get a call Saturday and I get to the nursing home and find him still beating the odds. I visit for a bit. He’s not responsive. Not too atypical as of late. I hang around til it seems things are leveling out. We are waiting on someone to come do suction. I get hungry and need to go as well as have an online test to take. I leave. Half an hour later, I get a call. He’s passed. And all of the moments of the past 15 years culminate in this. And as I told myself that my mom would have to go at some point and no time is easy, I too remind myself that my father isn’t immortal. I comfort myself with the thought of him being his whole self with my mom in Heaven.

Then today gets to be a bit hard because we go to the funeral home and start working things out. Turns out it gets to be another night of tragedy. As my uncle too releases his mortal coil. The man who has supported me in trying to lift me up out of my depression. Offering me resources of which I would not be able to ever have otherwise. He loves in a weird way, in an almost middle class sort of way. In that he sets high standards and goals and does what he can to help you meet him. He has certain ideologies in which he expected me to also identify. But his love was never truly conditional. And now I feel left reeling. No mother. No father. No supporting uncle. I have my fiance and her family. And a very unstable ground on which to walk.

Nevermind the other losses recently. Other uncles and aunts, my brother. This is the one in which I see no way out. I’m certain there is one. There always is. But it doesn’t take to my heart. I don’t see the way out. When my mom passed, I saw the way out through my dad’s brother, the one who passed away tonight. When I learned my dad was very sick and was placed on hospice. I only hoped that I would be given support long enough to recover on my own. When indeed my father died 2 days ago, I prayed that God protect my family. And now there’s this. I turn to God and I don’t know what to ask. I cannot expect anything. For everything I expect goes foul. I thought last year would be the worst year for a while. When I tried to take my life. I suppose it is only well that was last year. I’m now being treated for bipolar disorder fairly well. And if I wasn’t. I can’t say I wouldn’t be trying to take my life again.

I know others out there have it worse. But I just need a fucking break.

 

The Curse

My mom once said our family was cursed by God for some great atrocity someone a couple generations back committed. She lost a lot of siblings. Had bipolar children, one who became a drunk and occasionally hurt his wife and kids. Then my dad had his accident.  Then my mom broke her leg. Then when I moved away and the only companion my mom had was my dog, my dog got cancer.  Then my brother died. She could still hear him sometimes. Him and one of her sisters. Now she’s gone too. And my dad is in the hospital again. For like the 18th time.

The reality of the situation is that the numbers tell me my dad will die. My thoughts tell me he’s a tough guy and he’s gonna make it through. Reality does tell me if he lives, his quality of life will drop even further. I’m almost ready for him to die. I want him to be with my mom. I prayed in the temporary trauma unit that if God was going to take my father, make him go painlessly and know that my mom would be there to welcome him if he had any fear.

But now I’m at home, just having finished an assignment and trying to convince myself that I do need to go to work tomorrow, especially with it being a new job and all. But fear and conflict has taken hold of my heart. When my mom was in the hospital before she died, I knew she lived through the worst and was gonna be just fine, she was getting better and everything. One night, the fear of losing her seized me entirely and I fell apart, only to wake up the next day and everything was good. It was the day after that though shit hit the fan.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to expect right now. Certainly feels like a curse. Throw my bipolar in just for funsies and you’ve got everything you need for a turbulent life. I used to minimize the amount of trauma I’ve endured, convincing myself it wasn’t really bad because it could get a lot worse. Now I’m just starting to feel broken.

What’s This All About?

When you ask about me, my mind races.  Maybe you ask what I do.  I read, I play games, I’m a student, I do 3 part-time jobs, I think, I sit, I dance (when no one is looking), I push for destigmatization of mental health issue, I go to church, I pray, I draw, I scream, I collapse, I take care of my dog, I dote on my fiance, I code, I break things down, I freak out, I sleep, I dream, I try to sleep but can’t, I don’t watch movies except when I do, and when I decide that my body is betraying me I subject it to overwork in unsafe conditions. I clean. I don’t clean, I buy too many things and regret, I buy not enough things and regret. I do so many things that when you ask me what I do, despite me knowing the question typically addresses working or student interest, my mind fires all these things and sometimes none of them, or some subset between the two.

Nothing is ever really simple for me. When you ask me where I grew up. I remember the apartment we had near the medical center, from before I was three. Not many memories, but enough. I remember nightmares I had, I remember moving towards a slightly better part of town into a duplex and while the people toured us through different duplexes in the area all owned by their company, there was a dog running around the one we ended up at. I think what preschool was like, where I was at when I learned I was “different” or smarter. I remember growing up with the Russian kid whose dad had broken English.  I remember my first best friends and growing into adolescence and how I wanted to keep them all and then remove some and then make new friends altogether. I say “I ‘grew’ up in San Antonio, but moved to Lubbock for high school.” Because the answer they want is I grew up “here” (Lubbock). But I grew up a lot. I still am growing up. I’m not a grown-up even if I get classified as an adult. I think to middle school, I was bullied, witnessed gang violence, was considering gun violence of my own, got in to see a doctor when I was young, had depression, likely due to my father’s accident. I stopped sleeping, I dreamt more and more and remembered so many. There were hallucinations and then we moved to Lubbock and the story goes from there. I can’t simplify things for people in my head, I have to find the response they want because my life story hits me most times when I am asked.

Sometimes I hear the thoughts of artists. I sing to music that doesn’t exist and when I try to write it down, it fades to the void that I’m all too familiar with. Sometimes I see amazing art in my head, and when I take to paper I’m nowhere near adequate to even get remotely close. I write poems but forget the words, I romanticize ideas but forget what they are.  I lose thought mid speech because my thoughts went so far ahead that some buffer limit was hit and I had to reset.

I analyze all the things that are wrong. All the things that are right. All the things I see in other people I would like to see in myself. I get social anxiety, I fake my charisma. I acknowledge a person’s problem as not a problem but when the same circumstance comes to me it is a problem again. I can’t keep quiet or I won’t speak at all, it always, always depends on the day.

Having Bipolar Disorder can be a lot like gambling (even causes people to gamble witlessly). I never know what I will face when I wake up. Who I will be. Maybe I change me midday and forget that problem that was life ending. Maybe I tell myself I will never be who I want. Then I hit it back into my head that it’s just symptoms and remind myself they are better and fewer even if still present. It all depends on the day.

When you ask me who I am. When I’m honest, I tell you I’m bipolar. I tell you that I’m smart and scared and will never compromise my integrity. I speak about my suicide attempt as a fulcrum to a better life. I grab your attention when it hits me because you have to know I’m not ashamed to be bipolar. You need to ask me what it’s like being bipolar so I can arm you with knowledge and encourage you to destigmatize.

I started this post with no intent. I finished it with something resembling one I guess. Today it’s a mixed day. A Grant can’t keep up with Grant day where I’m pulled in a million directions.

What was I doing again?

 

Insert Wit Here

Please follow the instructions the title provides.

Good. Now that it’s established you have great wit, I have little else to write.

Seriously. I got on here to write, but that’s about all I got. Oh, I agree it does not satiate one’s appetite. Well, let me try a different tactic. I have nothing planned to write in general, I’m actually quite adamant about just typing here until something exciting occurs to me.

Actually that reminds me. I saw my psychiatrist today, meds seem to be working, even if my brain apparently isn’t. I recall most of my dreams with fairly good detail. Yesterday I spent some time in an underwater city that collapsed and someone was able to save me. But oh the whales were something to be marveled. It was almost celestial, their appearance in my dream.

I guess I have that a lot. And music and words to it too. But they are so intangible and my brain has no proper way to coordinate that into the same beauty that I hear in my dreams or as I am even waking up. This gets me in trouble though, the whole, I take a while to fall asleep and wake up and in both transitions I start or continue dreaming.

I was concerned something else might be going on, but it genuinely seems to be just an oddity, which I can live with.

In other news, my expunction is being filed tomorrow. As you may or may not know, I was arrested for assaulting an officer. At the time, I was incredulous. My mom got pulled over for speeding, I was giving her a bit of a ribbing while the officer checked our IDs. Turns out there’s a warrant for me. I was incredibly confused but stepped out of the car as asked.

Officer asks if I want to tell him about what “happened the other day”. And I try my damndest to figure out what I might have been caught up in. Nothing. Not a single offering of a guess arose. He tells me I assaulted an officer, bit him actually. I shake my head no, I sure as heck didn’t. I tell him he must have something wrong. But he doesn’t, so I get in the car, really nice officer actually, I don’t generally have a lot of experience with officers, but I’ve had more negative ones than positive ones and strangely the one time I was arrested was probably the most positive one.

Turns out I bit an officer when I was in the hospital. Didn’t break the skin even. But he filed a report. Given the circumstances, I would argue again and again he was in the wrong. I wasn’t even fully aware of what was happening. My body was struggling to keep me alive and apparently that made me combative somewhere. He put his hand near my mouth in an effort to restrain me, what I feel is an obvious don’t, but he did. After entering the hospital that night after downing too many pills, I remember talking to my mom, I remember getting into a room. I remember starting to fall asleep and some woman urging me to drink something. It tasted like chalky chocolate milk. Then I remember falling. Then nothing, not really. Lots of noise. Beeps and voices, couldn’t focus on any of it. My body was moving, but it wasn’t me.I hear a man yell in my ear and suddenly the world is spinning. I don’t have any vision, but I know I was flipped somehow I hear the words “You deserve this, you did this to yourself” said angrily into my ears. I am panicking I try so hard to scream. I can’t breathe and I’m being crushed by something on my back.

Then I hear lots more noisy voices. Next thing I remember is coming to in bits and pieces. I tugged at a catheter which made me hurt, I wasn’t intentionally tugging it, but when I did tug it, the pain made my mind surface a tad. When I finally came to for  a few minutes, I immediately recalled the event. I was suddenly scared and even a bit tearful, I told my mom that something happened to me, I think I was abused in some way, but wasn’t sure. She thought I meant sexually and told me that was my catheter. I passed back out. When I came to again she told me what I told her and I told my mom it wasn’t that, but didn’t say more at the time.

Well when I leave the hospital I have one hell of a lump on my forehead just a bit below my hairline towards the side of my face. Also joining that is a black eye, what I felt to be evidence of what I experienced. Later I would find that a CT scan was done for an “acute head injury” though no incident for why this was is indicated in the medical records. The officer I bit while not having control worked security at the hospital and ended up in the room to restrain me. In the end, I know that was the event that happened. But I was in the wrong, and I had charges filed against me. The officer made a personal vendetta, that if I lived after trying to kill myself, I should face felony charges. Because I “deserved this”, I did it to myself.

I’ll continue this story some other time, but I wanted to leave my impression of how an officer handled me. I was hurt worse than him and I was not acting of my will, I was already hospitalized, and the officer was not intelligent enough to keep his hand away from my mouth when I was so out of it and being combative. I feel for officers, I really do, they have a really super difficult job that I don’t envy. But there are those in the ranks that aren’t there to serve the public, whether you admit to it or not, there are. I believe that mental illness should of a greater education to law enforcement given that a large population of incarcerated individuals are mentally ill. Sometimes they die unnecessarily too. We put a lot of responsibility in the hands of the officers and maybe that’s not fair. But in my opinion, neither is it okay for what happened to me to go on. I mean not only am I left with a traumatic experience, I was charged and have had to undergo some things over the past year to get the case dismissed (which I would have loved to be on trial for quite honestly) and now it will finally be expunged. I feel bad that I bit the officer, that’s something I would never do in my right mind. But I feel his response was uncharacteristic of someone representing the safety of the public. Imagine if that jail trip triggered something in me, I was incredibly lucky to have it together as much as I did, I know many thousands do not, and it’s certainly unfair to them too.