A Double Post Kinda Day – Still Blue

What am I doing?!

I don’t know, but I keep texting him anyways. It’s not like I’m in love, or even lust, but I keep texting him. I guess I’m lonely. It’s not as though I have anyone to generally talk to about being sad. A stranger can chat without prying. I can talk to a stranger without thinking about anything important. It’s a nice escape from everything, I guess.

I suppose some people talk to their friends, but even with the small group of friends I keep I can’t imagine bothering them with my emotional turmoil. I mean, what do they care?

Most don’t: that’s the short answer. Having been removed from my immediate life for long enough, I have tried reaching out to my friend in California, but unsurprisingly he’s not really interested in it. I’m not sure why it’s surprising, as I’ve always felt him a touch self-absorbed anyway, but it hurts nonetheless. I tried telling a friend in Maine, because she’s another person I needn’t look in the eye when I spout my emotionally fucked bullshit, but while she’s concerned she isn’t really sure how to handle it. She just tries to reassure me, which is about as effective as it sounds reassuring a crazy person would be. Ha.

I have not tried to talk to my local friends, or my best friend in Oregon, about my meds or how I’m feeling. At my lowest I made it known to Bird that I was struggling, but I can’t imagine actually trying to explain a bipolar thought pattern to her. I considered trying to tell my bipolar friend, but he’s also very self-absorbed. He doesn’t even really do a good job at pretending to care about others; he’s just hellbent on trying to feel like a person again. I can’t really blame him for that… it’s hard the first time you lose yourself.

I could never REALLY talk to the Mothership about my bipolar. She understands depression, but only to the point she’s managed to build her own little barricade of coping mechanisms. So if I’m too depressed to get out of bed, that’s beyond her realm of understanding… so I, too, get out of bed and trudge on into the day, knowing that as soon as I walk through my front door I’m allowed to hit the floor and not move again until the next morning if I have to… and I have. No, my darling mother has major depression, not bipolar, so she doesn’t get mania. She doesn’t have highs that come in waves of feeling powerful, vengeful, or even happy. She doesn’t know what it feels like to think yourself invincible. She just knows the blue… the malaise… the ongoing sea of endless nothing. At least she sort of gets half of it, I guess. When I want to cry but have no reasons, she gets that… and she worries about all those depression-y things that crop up from time to time.

Knowing kinda half the story isn’t enough to understand, though. I can’t explain to her why mania is a problem or the complicated dance the two weave across the dance floor of my personality. I can’t explain why I do some things, or what it’s REALLY like to hear a voice you’re aware is all in your head. I can’t explain to her everything I’ve done under the influence of one episode or another. I can’t explain why there’s so shame behind my eyes and why certain innocuous things seem to hurt me. No, it’s not enough to know the half-truth of a disease and what ways it can eat at a heart.

So I keep texting him, even though I’ve already told him we shouldn’t see each other romantically. I hold my breath each time the phone buzzes, hoping it’s the nice young man that barely knows me. We don’t talk about my bipolar, or depression, or mania, or the voices, or how sometimes I think I’d rather die than have to get out of bed. I don’t feel the urge to tell him I’m struggling, or that going home at the end of a long work day is awful because there are little living things there relying on me to care for them. I don’t feel like I have to confess. It’s just small talk… How was your day? Did you see that film? What time are you free for a drink on Saturday? It’s nothing important. It’s nothing that hurts.

I don’t love him or lust for him… I don’t ache for him, and I definitely don’t want to be in his bed or his arms… but it’s just nice to fill the time with bullshit, I guess. When real life is so hard, the meaningless becomes quite pleasant.

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.

Fatigue or Depression???

Am I depressed because I’m tired, or tired because I’m depressed?

I feel like this is the kind of question that a normal person doesn’t have to seriously ask themselves, but it’s a question I’m currently faced with.

I am perpetually tired. I wake up tired, I force my way through the day, and then I go home and go to bed early. It’s shitty. I don’t want to go to the gym, because I’m tired. I don’t want to go out with friends, because I’m tired. I don’t want to go to work, because I’m tired. I don’t want to get out of bed, because I’m tired.

I’m fucking tired, or being FUCKING TIRED.

It’s hard to live when you’re perpetually tired. Getting out of bed is the hardest battle of my day. On the weekends, sometimes I don’t get out of bed at all. Yesterday I got up at one in the afternoon. I only managed that because the dogs and I were hungry. When I do manage to get up, I can’t focus well. Work is hell, because it’s just me trying to focus and then having to redo whatever I was doing because I forgot what I was doing to start with. After work, I haven’t been able to make it to the gym much. I’m fucking tired. I look forward to going home, eating dinner, and sleeping. Consequently, I’m not enjoying my hobbies, because all I want to do when I get home is sleep. Also, my social life is suffering. I don’t have the energy to go out. I don’t want to be out. I want to be at home asleep. So, I’m not seeing my friends, either.

No hobbies, no socializing, no energy to exercise…. It’s no wonder I feel depressed.

Still, am I depressed because I’m tired? Or am I tired because I’m quite deeply depressed?
If I’m depressed, I’ve been depressed since about June… and that’s a problem, too.

I’m cut off contact with the friends I used to have. I talk to all of three people regularly, now. I tell myself it’s because they weren’t great friends… and maybe that’s partially true. They weren’t, but who really is? I haven’t had a real best friend since that girl that stopped talking to me because her boyfriend (who she eventually married and started a family with) didn’t like me. I don’t have someone I feel like I can talk to about anything important.

People always tell you that you can tell them things… but have you actually had someone open up to you? It’s awful. You like them, sure, but you can’t HELP them. What do they really think you can offer them in the way of consolation or advice? I think about this when the thought crosses my mind to tell someone anything. And then I don’t tell anyone anything.

I did go to the doctor, though. Since I’ve been tired since JUNE I decided that warranted a doctor visit. She asked if I’d been sick, and as polite as I could I told her I’d been sick a couple of weeks ago, but not since June. She did a depression survey, and I took time to mention that I’m bipolar, and how I couldn’t be sure if I’m tired because I’m depressed or depressed because I’m tired. We also discussed how I don’t seem to be cycling (I thought about that later and realized I am cycling, just not to the extremes I’m really used to since I’m exhausted ALL THE TIME). In the end, she ordered me a Pulse Oximiter to wear while I sleep to see if maybe I have sleep apnea, and ran a whole lot of blood tests (about six vials worth) and last night I got the call back on it.

I was honestly hoping that there was something wrong with my thyroid or liver. You see, I get really angry when they run all these tests and there’s NOTHING to explain why I feel bad. If they can’t find anything wrong with me, they can’t fix it. It happens a lot, and not just to me. My mom is notorious for thinking she’s dying and the doc not being able to determine why. I don’t, for a second, believe that there’s nothing wrong with me… but according to the blood tests, there’s nothing to explain why I’ve been incapable of being a proper human being since June.

My blood tests revealed I have a viral infection. They didn’t specify what KIND of viral infection, so I don’t know if it’s residual from being sick after going to hang with Bren when Michael was sick (I was so sick after that… and I didn’t even touch the kid) or like an Epstein Barr Viral infection… but they want to see me in a month to see if the infection is gone… Also, my vitamin D levels are REALLY low. They like to see people with a score above 30, but according to the internet a score of 20-50 is considered fine. Mine is 10. So, they want me to take 10k units of vitamin D.

Here’s the thing about vitamin D. When my mom came up with a vitamin D deficiency, the doc told her to take 10k units of it a day. That caused an overdose and she became weak and her whole body hurt. So when you’re deficient, it can cause brittle bones and MIGHT cause fatigue. When you OD you are subjected to pain and weakness. Vitamin D is scary.

So instead of following orders, I’ll be taking 5k units a day… assuming I can remember to take it. They also want to see me in a month to see if the viral infection is gone. So… I’m not real confident that I’m going to feel better any time soon.

I’m going to see if I can WILL myself to feel better.
Make myself go to the gym.
Make myself get back into illustration.
Make myself be social… maybe…

I feel exhausted and sad just thinking about it…

High-Functioning

I keep seeing stories about high-functioning depression all over the soc-meedz (social media) and I think it’s super weird. People always say the weirdest things about high-functioning depressive types. They were so happy. You’d never guess. They were so successful. They had their life together. By all accounts, they were living the perfect life. I had no idea. I can’t believe they’d do this. They just seemed so normal.

Really, people?

Maybe it’s because I live with more mental illness than the normal person, but no suicide attempt ever comes out of nowhere. No one is perfectly fine while keeping a deep dark secret of extreme depression. No one is living a perfect life right before they chase a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka. (Do people still try to kill themselves with aspirin? I don’t actually know.)

No one is fine.

Some of the most depressed people I know are also the most social, the most ambitious, the most outwardly happy… The ones that invite you to brunch every weekend. Know how to spot a depressed person? Look for someone whose life you envy. Look for someone that seems happy. Look for someone. Anyone.

What’s really bothering me about this article trend isn’t that people managed to slip under the radar. What’s really eating at me is that I AM NOT HIGH-FUNCTIONING, AND PEOPLE STILL DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
I’m not outwardly happy. I’m not social. I don’t have my life together. I’m not overachieving. I don’t have stable relationships. I don’t see people on a regular basis.
I’m reclusive, moody, very forward about my general dislike of people, and in general the only high-functioning aspect to me is that I get up and go to work consistently.
It’s not an achievement.

And yet… If I went home this evening and hung myself from my stairs, people would be just as surprised as ever.

High-functioning mental illness is scary, but not because no one ever sees it coming… it’s scary because no one cares. I’ve thrown up pretty much every red flag on the list short of actually drinking bleach. I’m drowning in myself over here. I’m choking on life and the reality of every day being the same.

Last night I went home and had a hysterical breakdown. It was a shitty day. I rode home in weird tense silence with my very depressed mother. We stopped at the grocery and all I could manage to think of to buy were Michellina’s dinners, because they were a dollar. Then I went home and one of my dogs tried to eat my computer mouse, my record collection, and generally wrecked the house. I freaked out and after yelling about how I don’t deserve to be treated this way, I left. Just left.
Fortunately, I had no where to go. Went home and dug out a giant dog kennel, which is where my darling Keagan is today… Spent an hour reinforcing the seams, because it’s pop-up and last time I used it, Kyrie busted herself out of it and destroyed her face fitting through the seams. Blood everywhere. Not doing that again… Then I literally sat in a chair and stared at nothing for 30 minutes.
Then I went to bed at 8pm.
I woke up this morning at 1am… and proceeded to just watch iZombie till it was time to leave for work. In that time, I also decided that I should just box up everything I own and either store it under the house or toss it. I don’t really use anything, so it’s not like I’d miss any of it, other than for sentimental reasons. I essentially just watch TV at this point in my life. Lost all creative juices, no motivation to fix up the house, and sometimes I just want to lay in the middle of the floor and stare at the ceiling…

But if I go home and kill myself, no one is going to see that coming.
They never see anything coming.

You don’t have to be high-functioning to hide. Just avoid the subject and people will gladly pretend not to see the scars. Smile and people will look past the tears. Apologize when you’ve thrown a fit and no one thinks twice about it even happening. You’re not depressed or bipolar. You’re just eclectic, or a little sad sometimes, maybe having a hard time. You’re the novelty friend. You’re really busy, so you don’t get out much.

High-functioning, my ass.