Is anyone besides Michal unable to get the comments to open and work?
I made it through my birthday although I did realize that my depression has gotten much worse in the last few days. Dr. Brain is aware and Dr. Mind will tomorrow.
I went out to dinner and skyped with my niece for a bit and that took all the energy from today (I've had little sleep in 2 days. Thankfully Dr. Brain said to quit trying to get my lithium level done for the moment so I can sleep when I sleep and not try to get up. She seems to agree that a sleeping pill is not going to do a lot of good when I'm not sleeping because I'm sad).
Becky asked about something I'd said about looking back. When I say that I'm meaning I am going back to where I was a long time ago. 10 years ago I had no real sense of how I would be able to keep working and managing with uncontrollable symptoms. The different was that bad then it was feasible to just do it, to borrow from Nike. For a number of years I could push through through the force of my personality and I was ok. My symptoms were not well controlled and were really hard to manage but I could manage enough to succeed. I thought that if I could get through those early years that whatever I had after that I would retain. Instead I've taken steps backward while life has gone forward and now I can't do that barely managing but doing well enough to have a career. Backward isn't the right term really I guess because I was not ever here.
I see the recent years as having 1-10 rankings. Age 34 was a 10. The stresses were just normal work or life stuff and otherwise I was indistinguishable from others. A year ago was a 7; things were impaired but it was physical and good things awaited my physical recovery. I was positive that I just had to get healthy and I'd be back to that 10 because there really wasn't anything to indicate that I would not recover from surgery and be fine again.
Why I was so upset the other day is that I looked at the future. Right now I have psych appointments, mental illness class, and nothing else on my calender until vacation in November. And I can't just fill things up because right now handling 3 appointments most weeks and 4 week I see Dr. Brain is enough. But I have never in my life no matter how sick I was had nothing coming. Even when I've not worked I always had work ahead of me. Right now it feels like my future is so very limited. I know that we'll keep doing things to help my depression lift and that I'll someday feel like scheduling some babysitting days with my niece (I'd like to go down and babysit every other week one day when I can do that.)
It just scares me. In the past even when I've been unable to do a ton there have been things that were being given me as nuggets to look forward to. I've been able to see progress and know I can at a minimum try working. This time trying work again is not even on the table. It's not been eliminated but it is goofy to talk like that is coming when the reality is that something changed in me. I supposed I shouldn't say I went backwards as I have never been here before. I did, however, get much sicker and then the part I'm mostly fed up with myself about is that I was so insistent it would be fine that I did not catch that nothing was giving cause to look forward. The sheer relief Dr. Mind showed when he knew that I was aware that this may be the end of the tracks for the life I've had in the last 11.5 years was huge. Months ago he was suspecting that I had reached the end of the line.
The one thing with bipolar is that it is not static. At some point a new medication may be released that gives me some function back, but we will always be more cautious with stress levels and if this depression can be lifted (and I do think that will happen) then we will figure out what amount of stress I can handle.
The letting people down thing had a bit more relevance when I was in the hospital. I know and they know that I did not cause things to get worse. However what I am fighting with shame over is that I have a very few rules I life with. One of them is the promise I've made so many times and up to now has more or less been kept: If I felt like hurting myself I was to get help immediately. Suicide is kind of a creepy thing and when you feel tremendously depressed you often are too ill to act on what you feel. The danger comes when either you impulsively feel "THAT was the last straw" or when you start to have more energy (this is particularly true for me because I usually leave depression and head for mixed states where I get little bursts of energy) then you are at greater risk for killing yourself if the suicidal thoughts are serious enough. It's hard to know what serious enough is and for that reason I've made promises that I will tell about anything of that nature. As it turned out when I was somewhere safe and talking to other suicidal people as well as to Drs. Mind and Brain, I not only had not told about thoughts that had become to be the main thing I thought about, and I truly had no ability to disengage enough to see for myself that if I was laying in bed staring at a particular bottle of not-incredibly-safe meds knowing that if something better didn't come along that I could ingest those anytime I felt done. Trying to decide when I was done bought me enough time to get to the hospital, but it still took a number of days before I was willing to admit that not only did I lie about the feelings I had I also lied about something much worse, which was that I had a plan of how to die and I fully intended to carry it out the day I felt unable to handle it. That is what makes me mad at myself; there is one rule and I broke it. It's been really weird because the hospital dr. felt that I was a reformed creature and would not be at an elevated risk. My doctors, who know me so much better and know that I have always complied with the telling rule, they've taken it ultraseriously. Both of them know that I have never gotten near this suicidal before and that I may have gotten help but totally outside of the promises I'd made in the past. So I also feel bad because I scared them and made me so they have to babysit for however long it takes to be safe. Which may take awhile because as long as I slip over the edge into severe depression over and over again I need monitoring.
Mostly though, at this point, I am having trouble not looking at the much more normal calendar that existed in my head 2 years ago today, as opposed to now when most of my mental calendar is full of "get well". I know that I am so fortunate to have income to support me while I go through this and that I can go through it when not everyone is as blessed. However it still feels like "feel better" shouldn't be the hardest thing I have ever done.
And so begins blogging, the 7th year.