Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Returning to the real world.

As I mentioned in my last post this summer has been particularly hard on my brain. I don't know if my diagnoses of bipolar will change or adapt with this summer's activities, but the psychosis has increased dramatically. I have had visual and auditory hallucinations my whole life. Most of the time they were pushed aside by everyone, myself included, as an overactive imagination. To be fair to all, it was very difficult to tell apart my dealings with hallucinations and a normal child with an overactive, or overstimulated, imagination.

This summer the ability to distinguish between dreams and reality has been impossible. I spent countless weeks dreading the night, dreading the descent into that dark place where horrible things happened. The worst part, though, is when I wake up I don't know that those horrible things weren't real. I spent close to 15 hours one day believing my father-in-law died. I went to his funeral, my husband decided not to talk to me shortly after, and my friend Dan stepped up and helped me out when I needed it.

None of those things happened. When I finally talked to my husband I couldn't believe him, wouldn't believe him. It took me hours of ruminating on the idea that Dave is fine, Terry never abandoned me, and I haven't seen Dan all summer, for me to finally accept that it never happened.

Shortly after that incident the Seroquel was increased to 200 mg a day and an alpha blocker was added to my tiny cocktail. I now take 2 mg a day of Prazosin, which for some strange reason separates the dreamer from the dream. I can now, most of the time, tell the difference between dream and reality. Though, when I saw Inception two weeks ago I identified dearly with Mal. I wished that I identified a little more with Ariadne. Maybe someday.

Unfortunately, that is not the end. I still hear, see, feel, and smell things that do not exist while awake. Such fun! I'm starting to be able to identify which things exist and which don't by other cues around me and around the object, but it isn't enough. To the cocktail! I have already tried and failed with one additional anti-psychotic, I'm currently refusing to take Zyprexa because of the terrible reaction I had to it the last time it was in my cocktail (sometime between 2001 and 2004). The second medication I'm trying is trifluoperazine. I'm on a low dose that is going to be increased a week from today. My driving ability is nil currently. I flighty, I can't hold more than one thought in my head at a time. I'm on short term disability at work to protect my job from poor performance.

Tomorrow I start school. To say I have an ambitious schedule may be the understatement of the year. In the end, talking to the teachers, taking a TON of notes, writing everything down...hopefully that works. If there is damage done to my 3.83 GPA it will be unfortunate, but with a 3.83 at least I have room to fall a little. And work is scheduled to start again on 26th of September. Fingers crossed for sure that this will all improve and I can go back. I hate the way this feels.

Monday, August 22, 2011

And we try again...

I stopped blogging in June because several things happened. First, Terry left for boy scout camp for about 8 weeks (staff, not camper). Second, I was placed on an improvement plan at work, which left me a tad bit scared to share things about myself. Third, my bipolar has gotten significantly worse, and this has left me with an even more scared feeling about sharing with myself. Reasons number two and three are kind of bull for not wanting to sharing my experiences. I naturally am a very open person and I want so badly to share and be an advocate for people with mental illness. I told Terry that I'm interested in writing a sort of memoir-truth-telling-self-help kind of book, but these are so commonplace right now for mental illness that I'm a little gunshy of doing anything with that idea.

I don't know where I lost my voice. At some point I decided that I was going to let social acceptability and corporate America take away my ability to shout from the rooftops that I am mentally ill and you know what people? it is okay. sometimes life with mental illness is hard, its regularly not pretty, but that doesn't mean its urinating on the side of the liquor store scary. So, long story short, I am going to make an attempt to find that voice again. I want to share good things about life, bad things about life, annoying things...

Look for more of me soon.