Left Only to My Own Devices

Well, the Geodon my shrink prescribed knocked me out and caused violent tremors in my hands. The Abilify before that gave me wicked hot flashes, which don’t sound terrible until you have them. So, I decided, since neither the Abilify nor the Geodon worked for me, to give up the medication hunt.

I just don’t have time for the adjustment periods. I don’t think that shrinks really comprehend that SOME people that see them are NOT on disability and have to go to work. I complain about side effects and I just get told to wait them out for a month or two? My falling asleep at my desk, having violent tremors, and melting on a daily basis is unacceptable for a workplace. I can’t take something that will cause me to lose my job.

At least unmedicated I know I’ll get out of bed and go to work. It’s routine. I can stick to a routine. I know lots of people can’t when they’re in a very deep depression, but it’s a skill that I learned from my mom: how to do the minimum.

You get up, you look presentable, you go to work, and when you get home you can fall apart, so long as when the alarm goes off you get up again.

That’s what I watched through my childhood. It’s not so terrible an existence if you can pop in some diversity: a forced social interaction with friends here, a reluctant date there. The hard part is those little bits of diversity, because you don’t WANT to do them, but if you don’t it gets real monotonous and further depressing. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at annoying myself with the company of others, which I fully enjoy but not until I actually get there.

My shrink was disappointed. That’s okay, because I was disappointed in my shrink. I explicitly told her that I wanted to treat JUST my depression and that it had to work with my job and NOT be sedative. We discussed this upfront, and the things she gave me had terrible debilitating side effects and sedation! It’s not right for a shrink not to listen to my wants….

Geodon treats MANIA not DEPRESSION. A quick google search turned that up. I was going to overlook it, because maybe the cost of stifling my depression is a little bit less mania, but then I fell asleep at my desk at work and the tremors started. So I took the weekend to get back off the Geodon… and decided I’m better on my own.

I dunno that things will get any better, but at least I’m awake and in control of my body movements.

In other news, much to my dismay the guy from Friday night has texted me a few times since the event. I definitely thought that the disappointment would be on both ends, but apparently not. I’m trying to be distant without hurting his feelings. I just don’t know how to kindly tell someone you don’t wanna see them because the sex was bad… Seems like a thing you don’t say… You bottle it up and push it down with all your other feelings, adding to that tight little ball in your chest that will someday become cancer.

I could lie. I have considered lying… telling him some elaborate excuse to not see him involving my bipolar and shit… but I feel like he wouldn’t care if I were a crazy person… which makes it worse. I really wish this guy had some bad quality besides being lousy in the sack… It’s a shitty thing to shun someone for, but OUR GENITALS DON’T LINE UP… so it’s not really something we can work on or something I care to overlook. I refuse to fuck missionary position the rest of my life… or any part of it if I can help it.

I’m just conflicted about how to proceed. He’s a really nice guy and if we could fuck better I’d be down… but Darwinism has spoken, and we can’t… so what the fuck do I do? I could try to friend zone him, but honestly I find that worse than telling him he’s bad in the sack.

I dunno. I’ll meditate on it more. I just feel like he deserves something more than me being weird and eventually not speaking to him, but at the same time I have no idea what else to do…

Suggestions welcome.

I went with the crazy meds fucking me up. He was nice about it. I hate that he was nice about it.

Lying to Mental Healthcare Professionals

Friday sucked. Actually the whole week sucked. I started the week with weird dreams. That progressed into NO SLEEP Tuesday and Wednesday night. I had to take a literal mental health day on Thursday because I was losing it, and on top of not sleeping I’d spent all week trying to cleanup a schedule that should have been clean. It was genuinely frustrating.

I spend Thursday in bed, and then when the house got too hot to sleep I went to buy shit to make cookies. I don’t bake, but I wanted to make cookies. I made four batches total, two of which were totally inedible because they were overwhelmingly gross and salty, one was fine but dry, and one was legit good. I was kind of listless. I don’t know why I wanted to make cookies. I didn’t want to eat them; I had two cookies from the okay batches and gave the rest to mothership. I just liked making them. I can’t really tell you why.

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I’d been suffering through the side effects of my Abilify. The worst were the hot flashes. I would get REALLY hot, which I’m always kind of hot anyways, and then dizzy and nauseous, and it was just flat out sucked. I’m 28; I didn’t need to get a preview of menopause. So Friday night I debated taking my pill because I was going out. I ended up taking it, because I’m responsible, but I then ended up sweating to the point my friend was concerned for my health and took me home. Let’s not mention that I spent two hours picking an outfit and trying to look cute, or how my makeup melted off my face, or how when I got home I was so disappointed that I cried and went straight to bed.

I emailed my pdoc the next morning, but because it’s Kaiser, she didn’t get back to me till today. In the time between the two events I’ve quit cold turkey… but I didn’t tell her that. It was on accident, really, because Saturday night I went to David’s for an anime night, and forgot to take it before I left. I wasn’t about to take it the next morning… I have played that game and it was too terrible. So, I forgot. Then Sunday was such a good day for me, I just decided not to take it anymore. My pdoc doesn’t know that… I told her I wouldn’t tamper with my meds until I heard from her, but…. I’m tampering.

Saturday was a nice day, though. Mom and I started by taking the dogs to the vet. I was still visibly sad about the night before, but I tried to be in a good mood. The chihuahuas, Bdo & Guy, did great, except that Guy is overweight. Afterwards we took some time apart, and then went to get mani-pedis. It was nice. I got a weird beetle green. And to wrap up mom-time we went to a seafood place and got fried seafood plates.

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That evening I went to D2’s for an anime night. I subjected him to Paprika and Metropolis while we ate $60 worth of sushi (because stoners and fat kids like sushi). It was a lot of fun. We’re having a follow up night on Friday to watch Howl’s Moving Castle and Wizards, which isn’t really anime, but I consider it honorary anime. Bird was supposed to come, but I guess she got wrapped up with other things that feel through, and she essentially slept through it all.

Sunday morning I got up, dressed like a Time Lord and went to the Renaissance Festival with my mom. We stopped at a hat shop, and I finished off my Time Lady look with a nice hat and a flower-tie thing. I wanna make those now… I need to hit Goodwill. And figure out where to buy a sewing kit… We had a lovely day at RenFest and walked until we both thought we were gonna drop.

On the way home we hit the grocery, and I spent the rest of the day not standing.

It turned into a good weekend… but it’s been a trial… not gonna lie.

Fucked Up Dream Time

So, at 3am I posted another entry about how my meds are going and how this med is definitely doing weird stuff to my dreams. Then I went back to sleep… and now I want to tell you about my disturbing ass dreams, and why I hate taking antipsychotics.

Last time I took antipsychotics, Risperdol gave me horrifying nightmares that I can’t even remember. I would just wake up screaming. This time, I don’t know if these are nightmares, but they are… unsettling at best.

I’m in a school, but it’s built like a lodge in the mountains. We are surrounded by trees and a cable car runs from a platform on our second floor. There are other, similar buildings in the area, and we are all part of the same school I know this, but it’s not said. There are people there. Some are teen aged, some are college aged, and there is a smattering of actual adults. I am one of these adults, and we seem to be in charge.



There is a siren, and I rush everyone inside. “The hole is coming,” I say. It’s not as catchy as “The Nothing” or “The Darkness” or even “The Mist / Fog” but I get everyone inside and I’m aware that I’m scared. There are more people in our building than seem to lodge there, and so I clear a space to setup sleeping bags and start dismantling furniture into firewood. I seem to know that it’s going to be a long time before things will ever be normal again.



Enter, the random apparition of my exboyfriend invading my dreamscape. This particular ex is the one that I can never forgive. The one that I blame for many of my personality changes from “sweet, nice girl” to… whatever you call this cynical, sarcastic shell of a human being. I don’t know why he’s there, not even in the dream, and I still hate him when he gives me that smile that I remember adoring. I’m stuck with him, though. That much is clear.



So, I make the best of having someone I know around. He’s still himself, though, and while I’m trying to put all the sharp objects in the house where no one can get to them, he’s hoarding them by his sleeping bag. I have to explain to him what’s going on… which is handy since I don’t actually know until dream-me says it.



“What’s coming is the hole, and when it gets here everyone is going to lose themselves.” I’m gathering up a number of knives with my bare hands, managing to cut myself on an obsidian blade that he has for some reason. “The hole takes away feeling. There’s nothing. People don’t become depressed, they just feel nothing. They’ll kill themselves, and god knows what else they might do.” He’s rolling his eyes, and dream-me thinks he must assume that what’s coming is just a storm. I look him in the eyes and say, “What would you do to feel something, Mike?” He stops rolling his eyes, and he looks almost concerned. Almost. He lets me take the knives anyways, and I hide them in a wall, in a closet, somewhere in the bowels of the lodge.



Time goes on. It’s like a montage. I’m aware of the passage of time and glimpses into things that happened. It began to snow, and never stopped, though it’s not snowing particularly heavily. We ran out of food and had to start sending parties out into the snow to try and find animals or vegetation; they would come back a little less of themselves every time. For whatever reason I cannot begin to understand, I start sleeping next to my ex. I might hate him, but I guess in this weird time he makes me feel safe. Then one day he goes out on a foraging mission, and never comes back. Slowly less and less people come back from foraging, until it’s just me and a handful of students left. We never find the bodies.



We are out on a mission, having followed the cables from the inactive cable car up to a station. We are cresting a tall climb to the platform when we hear people. Some of the party get excited and run toward the noise, while I try to hold people back. The hole has come and it will have its sacrifices. Those at the top of the hill stop suddenly… some backup, some don’t move at all. When I reach the summit I can see why. There are people: people I know: people from our party; and they are laughing. Their laughter is hollow, like the laughter one produces when they are expected to laugh, but nothing is funny. Then the laughter turns to sobs, but those, too, sound wrong in every way. There’s no heart in it. They are stripping the skin off of one of my students, who’s hanging from the overhead cable.



I backup slowly, shock filling me with cold, and I slip. I tumble down the platform, the sound of my body hitting the rocky terrain alerting those skinning the student. They come after me. There’s a small chase before I lose them. I am alone. I don’t know where everyone else went, so I return to the lodge. No one is there. It’s empty and cold, and I’m terrified. I go to sleep in the middle of the sleeping bags. I cry.



I jump awake at the sudden feeling of someone breathing on my feet. It’s a man. I recognize his face, but it’s been painted black and I cannot place him. Only his white eyes and teeth are visible to me in the darkness. He’s grinning at me, but it’s not a real grin, for there is no mirth in it, not even the cruel joy of a killer. It’s just been stuck there on his face, like someone taped it there. I inch away from his dead, wide eyes, and to my surprise he does not follow me. He just stays, staring at me with his teeth bared, almost into a snarl. His eyes follow me, but he does not move, and I manage to escape the room.



I can hear people in the house. I am scared. I don’t know what to do.



I end up in the closet where I’ve hidden the knives, but there’s only one there and I grab it by the blade. It’s a black knife… it’s an obsidian hunting knife. I cut myself pretty bad, and stifle a yelp of pain. I have to get out of the closet, I know that, but there’s nowhere to go. I end up leaving the closet and having to hide myself in a window box that someone has been using for a bed. I jam the knife into the wood at an angle that I don’t think would work in real life, but manages to keep the lid closed in the dream. No one finds me, but I also don’t have a way out. Day after day I listen to frightened screams, false laughter, and faux tears. I try to leave my hiding place, but I can’t get the lid open, even after I pull the knife out. I don’t get any omniscient insight as to why. I just get a montage of days, as I lie awake in the box, crying, scared, and slowly dying of thirst and hunger.

The dream ends with my shriveled up corpse laying in the box. My face is contorted into an unnatural scream, but I know that’s probably just because of the way I was laying when I died. All I thought was, “wow, I look so thin.”



Antipsychotic dreams are… well… psychotic. I hate antipsychotic dreams because while they are often outlandish and unrealistic, they always hint at things you’re actually thinking about. It’s like the subroutine your brain runs all the time never shuts off like it used to, and those thoughts you don’t really remember thinking just invade your dreams like it’s Normandy. This one hits especially close to home, since whatever was happening stripped everyone of emotions. Obviously they retained something, though, since they continuously tried to feel something. Longing… is longing an emotion?

I have been struggling with my new and ever shrinking emotional range. While I was used to feeling all of three emotions, I felt those emotions much strong than I feel any of these new, wider ranging ones. I felt Euphoria, Rage, and Despair with all the bitter, painful fire of passion. I felt them to my core. Now I feel… less. I’m not despairing, but sometimes I’m sad, or just not happy. I don’t rage, but sometimes I’m mad or a little irritated. I don’t get lost in the intense feelings of euphoria, but sometimes I smile… so I guess that’s happiness? It’s a hard transition that only people with a mood disorder really “get.” How do you explain to yourself that feeling less is how you’re supposed to feel? While the emotions might be more complex, like ambivalence is a new one I’ve been feeling a lot, the feelings are so much less. There’s no passion behind them… it’s so muted… like a Giorgio Morandi still life…

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the other things that REALLY bothered me, was that exboyfriend. Why, of all the exes I have, did it have to be that one? And then he goes off and gets killed or something and I’m all alone and I MISS HIM. That’s fucked up, brain…. I know we’re lonely, but we aren’t THAT lonely.

Anyways, I’ve been dealing with the psychological aftermath of THAT all morning… It’s not a great way to wake up… but I definitely didn’t want to continue sleeping…

New Shrink & New Drugs

Whelp, Monday I saw a new shrink. I didn’t WANT a new shrink, but… Kaiser…

If you don’t know, I’d like to form a terrorist cell just to take down Kaiser…

So, I made the appointment in March. Waiting four months to see someone isn’t something I’m happy about… but I made it. She’s a weird little mousy white woman that could be 26 or 50. I’m honestly not sure how old she is, but she’s extremely proficient with a computer. All she did, really, was ask me questions and type the answers into the computer at lightning speed. I feel like my awe is how other people feel when they see me type without looking and whatnot.

I’m never really happy about rehashing my whole mental health history. It was a long, unpleasant journey from my mother thinking I was just a a moody teenager to being a diagnosed bipolar that fought really hard to get off medication… Not to mention in the middle of all that was my mom not really accepting the idea that I was bipolar, and all the meds I tried, and how all the meds I tried effected my life and relationships…. It’s was a whole thing, and every time I get a new shrink we have to go over all of it. The records should really just be digital and able to transfer in 2017… I feel like that’s not an unrealistic expectation.



She did ask me what my diagnosis was with my other doctors, in particular if they were classifying me as BP 1 or BP 2. I was honest… it varies. She laughed a little and explained that it’s because I’m right on the cusp… So you could either call me a very sever BP2, or a pretty mild BP1. Based on the fact I have managed to avoid arrest and hospitalization, she decided to classify me as a BP 2, but also said that it’s really just semantics since they treat it the same way.

Anyways, after my interrogation, she decided we should try Abilify. It was a decision based on a couple of things: 1, I told her that I refuse to take Lithium, and 2, the other stuff she considered was shit I’ve already taken that didn’t work. I just have to say…. I FUCKING KNEW SHE WAS GONNA TRY TO PUT ME ON LITHIUM. When I looked at Kaiser’s formulary, I noticed that the drugs they have for psychiatric use are old drugs. There aren’t a lot of them, and a lot of them have been around for a long long time. Apparently they only get new stuff when the patent runs out, and until then they don’t support you trying it for any reason.

If you download this formulary, this is at the top:

Kaiser Permanente will generally cover brand-name (when no generic is available), generic and specialty tier drugs listed on our formulary as long as the drug is medically necessary, the prescription is filled at a Kaiser Permanente or a participating network pharmacy, and other plan rules are followed.

BUT IT’S A MOTHERFUCKING LIE! THEY COVER NOTHING UNLESS A GENERIC IS AVAILABLE. FUCKING LIARS!

Anyways… When I looked at their formulary I knew… But I refuse.
Lithium is sedating. It primarily treats mania… I like my fucking mania. I don’t really care to get rid of my mania. Lithium is dangerous. The thereputic level for Lithium is like a hair away from overdose levels, which will wreck your kidneys and liver. Fuck that noise… I’m not doing blood draws for the rest of my life because they wanna use an old drug. Lithium tends to make you not care after a while. It’s sedating, as I said, and seems to work in people with bipolar the same was prozac works in people with depression. It’s not that you feel better, it’s that over time you kind of feel nothing. That’s just what it normally does. The list of side effects is concerning as all get out.

So no, I was not interested in taking a drug first used in 1871 and “perfected” to Lithium Carbonate in 1886, when there are so many new drugs with less severe repercussions.

(BTW, this shit is so dangerous that the FDA didn’t approve it for us to treat mania until 1970, and only under very specific conditions, i.e. lots of blood draws to monitor toxicity. That’s 84 years between “perfected” date and “sure, let’s use this on crazy people,” and it’s been 47 years since then… we have better shit…)

Anyways, I’m done ranting about the dangers of Lithium.

I’ve taken lots of meds before now… Lamictal, Trileptal, Topamax, Risperdal… So between what I’d already tried and my objections, to my surprise Miss Shrinky-Dink actually put some thought into it and told me why she picked Abilify (Aripiprazole).

A, It’s the closest thing to Latuda that they have. Since I’d previously saw another shrink and tried to get Latuda, she took that into consideration. I think it’s a little bit of a cop-out, to try and piggie back off another doctor, but I appreciated that she was trying to stay in the same vein.

2, Abilify should not be sedative. I was very clear that I didn’t want to be sedated and that I do not tolerate unwanted side effects very well. While Abilify has a list as long as any other antipsychotic of side effects, it’s not reported to be sedative. It was also less likely to cause me to gain weight (since I’m already a whale) and she hadn’t had any other patients that had experienced a side effect that caused them to stop taking it.

D, It should STABILIZE my moods, and it’s often used to treat persistent depression. The idea right now is to level me out and see how I feel when I’m not up and down and up and down again all the time. Once I’m kinda stable, if I’m still having depressive moods she said that she could add an antidepressant later. She doesn’t like to use antidepressants alone, or in high doses, because they have a tendency to de-stabilize bipolar people. I get that. When I was on Effexor I was real manic. I liked it, but people around me were less of a fan.

So, overall it felt like maybe she actually listened to my concerns and took them into consideration. I also immediately did some research on Abilify myself… and I actually think I took it for a while toward the end of my last jaunt with meds. At the end I was just mad that we kept changing meds and they all sucked, so I’m not actually sure that I gave it any kind of chance. I was also real manic at the time… for like a month. So, while I’m pretty sure I’ve taken it before, I’ll give it a chance.

So Mousy Head Shrink ordered blood work, because there IS a risk of increased chance for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes on Abilify, and I’m a big fat person. So yesterday morning I went to the facility by work that has a lab and the pharmacy where she put in my meds. All my labs were totally fine, as they tend to be. My old primary used to test me for all the fat diseases every single year, so I was pretty sure that wouldn’t be a problem.

I was going to wait until the weekend to start my meds, but 4 days on the starting dose and then bumping up to twice as much… no matter how I tried to play that it was gonna fall on a week day… So I started last night. This morning, I am tired, nauseous, achy, kind of out of it, and really thirsty. I was expecting all of that. Everything but the thirst should subside the longer I’m on it. Apparently drinking a lot of water is just what I do now. It’s not the worst side effect, though. The body aches should go away, or people said that some magnesium pills will make it subside. So…

That’s where I’m at today… and I’m at work… so… all of that is BLARGH feeling… but hopefully I start feeling less depressed.

Also, I’ve read a few reports where Abilify made people loose a crazy amount of weight… If there was ever a side effect I craved, that would be the one… I’d like to lose like half my body weight… is that a side effect I could have? Please?