Tag Archives: bipolar disorder

Binary Can of Chicken

I struggled with what a binary can of chicken would be. At first thought I wasn’t bothered by it being binary, I was concerned about the reality if chickens were stored in cans.  I was reminded that chicken is canned and sold as such, which made me make a face closely associated with “blech”. But then I realized, I’m a computer scientist, I know what binary is, so obviously this can of chicken is digital. I corrected myself though, acknowledging that anything with two and only two distinct values is binary.  Maybe the can is or isn’t there? Maybe that is what applies to the chicken? Maybe the chicken is good or bad? Wow, that one actually kind of fits. It took me a couple of minutes before I realized the strangeness of binary cans of chicken.

The phrase of which I write came to me when I was getting in my car to go to school one morning. My brain likes to not work entirely at times. I’m used to getting weird phrases and snippets of conversations in my mind that don’t make sense. At one point I was very concerned that I had schizophrenia. Then I even chalked it up to being bipolar. I even had “dreams” while I was awake. Slight hallucinations, sometimes just morphing of colors or words, other times full on confusion when there is a witch drawing dots in the window of my RV full of balloons plummeting off a mountain. You know, dream stuff. Sometimes very alarming and can briefly summon me to reality in a panic.

Now that I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy, I feel I have a better grasp on this because these symptoms fit much better with that illness.  It’s hard having this many things wrong with you, but at least I am learning and at least I am getting treatment. I now think these weird one off phrases or mid conversation blurbs are issues related to narcolepsy. It often provides me with weird things to reflect on. Now I believe that every can of chicken is implicitly binary. I don’t think I would have ever considered that on my own. Anywho, meant to write in here more often and before now, but I’m also extremely tired and confused at work, so maybe later.

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When the Going Gets Rough

You know what they say right? “When the going gets rough, get the bipolar people out fast”.

I suffer from a few psychological issues, as I am so careful to insert in almost every post. I know no one reads these, and to be honest, I’m not sure why I find it so compelling to catalogue the events of my life and beliefs. I don’t dress up this blog. I don’t remain committed to it. And I certainly have little value to offer others I feel in this capacity.

Anyone who reads this one, drop me a comment, let me know how I am supposed to write these things. I mean, I have a ton of content I can write and rant about. I’m not just mentally ill and a mental health awareness advocate. I like board games and video games, telling stories and memories. I like unique debates and getting to rant about social welfare and philanthropy. I love being challenged and getting to offer people a new perspective by opening their mind a little. I can empathize with others who have suffered great loss. I can tell you the many stories of how I apparently have super powered bad luck. I’m a huge geek who works on computers and is in school for computer science.

I’m trying something new here though. Small sporadic burst posts when the interest happens. So thoughts are super scattered. Right now I’m trying not to die of boredom at work. I also have little motivation to do anything in general. I’m definitely in a depressive episode and I know that. I just have to wait it out as my fiance reminded me and that’s true. But while I could be studying or working my way towards a certification, I just feel tired and useless. I’m honestly surprised I ended up here at all.

My depression has come a long way from what it used to be. I’m finally on a good treatment. I used to be told that a treatment was successful if I was doing well 50% of the time. And we didn’t have money to go see a different set of doctors. But they didn’t legitimately care about me. I tried to explain how I would have an awful week or two where suicide was a constant, if remote, temptation. And that was fine as long as I didn’t think I would act on it and I was doing well the other 2 weeks of the month.

And my doing “well” was not good either, it was simply just not dreaming about dying. But that was “success” I was told. Screw that right? I lost faith in the system pretty quickly, especially after so many medications failed to fix the problem, worked only temporarily, or had such intense side effects they had to be stopped immediately. No wonder why I want to advocate awareness right? I don’t want people to go through that. Everyone needs to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but there isn’t enough accessibility to the people who need it. We need more programs that provide funding or other means to address mental health awareness and treatments.

Now I don’t think about dying. I don’t wish I could fall off ladders and make everyone think it was an accident. I don’t have impulses to steer my car into the opposite lane of traffic. I don’t scream and throw things around. I just feel depressed. Low energy, a general malaise and wanting to be left alone. Not concerned about anything. That may sound bad, but it isn’t, not when you have some context. And they don’t last as long either. But it is a little bit harder right now, because everything keeps reminding me of my mom which also reminds me I won’t have her at our wedding. Or my dad. Or my brother. But, I think they’re still proud of me anyway, I’ve come so far. And I’ve still got a ways to go, but at least I have the means to get there. Godspeed readers!

Words Overdue

Hey there, it’s been a while hasn’t it? I’ve not visited here as oft as days of yore. I don’t think I should promise I should change that. I wish I could retain enough focus and motivation to follow through with many of my intents.

It really has been a while though. Writing isn’t as cathartic as it once was. Or rather the type of release that writing is seems less called upon in my present state. I’m good. Well, as good as I can be I think.

What else is there to say about someone in my place? I lost my parents and my uncle last year. My brother a couple years before that. My dog that same year, and while I understand dogs aren’t people, I would be hard pressed to name 10 people who I would mourn so roughly at that time. I don’t do the whole people thing very well, and animals were (and generally are) more of a comfort, so yes, losing my dog was very hard.

I have bipolar disorder. I have narcolepsy. I have struggled with other issues, chronic pain, impulse and anger control. What can the world ask of me and expect in return?

I was just recently diagnosed with narcolepsy though, at 26 years old. This should have been found much sooner and I can point to huge points in my life and say that was affected by that. My ability to learn, work, and be productive in daily life has always been impacted by that.  I struggled so damn hard in school, especially in college. I went to college and slept through almost every class for a year, still managing almost all As. This semester was my first “real” one back and I pulled off 3 As and 2 Bs and that was before I was diagnosed and started treatment.  I know I have great potential despite finding it so easy to give up or put myself down.

My parents would be proud.  And God how I miss them lately.

Even at work, when I sip on my coffee. That soft noise the java makes while you draw it in with small sips, that pattering, I’m just thrown back in time. I clink that mug back down on my desk and suddenly I’m back when I was 12 and having a bad morning. I’m in the bathroom on my mom’s side of the house telling her of my constant nightmares that kept me up. She consoles me softly seeming to debate if she should let me stay home. Clink. Her coffee gets put down. She sits on the counter cross-legged (not sure how) applying mascara in a loose set of pajamas. They’re a faded lilac color. She sips again, and asks me if I think the medicine is helping. I’m just upset, sitting in the bathroom floor, my eyes feeling swollen from tears. And she knows she’s still got to go to work and goes about diligently preparing, while downing cup after cup of coffee. Her pajama pants don’t match the top well, they’re a faded blue with some pink lilies patterned on them.

Just one of the many times I would talk to my mom in the morning.  Even in high school. I had to talk to her by her bathroom while she prepared for work. Every so often I would hear a sip or clink and know she was still having a hard time waking. Sometimes I got her up in the middle of the night because I was having really bad impulses to hurt myself, and she would console me, often making a cup of coffee to make sure she had some energy to watch over me.

So every so often at work, when I get my cup of coffee, I will set the mug down and have to fight to regain control, because it’s still hard to realize she’s not here. Coffee isn’t the only thing. I wish it were, that would make this a little easier. But, sometimes I do remember good things, things I liked about my mom.  And sometimes, just sometimes, it does bring me a little joy.

Maybe I’ll start writing again. Nobody hold me to it though!

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.