Not a choice

I don’t want to be writing tonight.

I will not quit my job. I did take sick day yesterday with my supervisor’s advice, which means I did tell her about the panic disorder and the back-to-back panic attacks I had all of that night and into the next morning.

She said she told our overall principal about the panic attacks, which I am okay with. I ended up telling my supervisor and TA about the bipolar in addition to the panic disorder. I told them that I feel so overwhelmed with planning and the behaviors so my TA agreed to take over planning for 2 of the 7 classes, and my supervisor assigned a float staff to our classroom for most of the day to help with behaviors and help teach. I didn’t have a panic attack at school, though in the morning it felt like I would. Some of the stress is relieved and I think it’s all from the support at school and the way my coworkers and supervisors responded to my disclosure.

I’ve never told a workplace about my disorders before. The thing is; I’ve never had to. I’ve not always been the best teacher, but I’ve covered up my low moments to where I didn’t need to admit to any reason behind strange behavior.

It scares me that I can’t control the panic disorder. Is it the job that’s so intense that’s bringing out the worst in the disorder? Is it just that I’m older and the disorders are now starting to take effect and take over my life more, like is there any way to stop how intense these feelings and thoughts are becoming? Is it just a depressive or hypomanic episode that I’ve never had panic attacks attached to so I didn’t realize it was the bipolar all along? What the fuck is happening and how do I stop it?

I saw a new counselor today, but didn’t feel comfortable disclosing more than just the stress happening at school. That seemed like the most immediate need and I didn’t feel like I had much time. I should probably talk about the rape next week. That would be smart to open up the other triggers.

And I’m back on medication. Just the antidepressants from before; the new doctor prescribed me another months worth. He says it should help with the anxiety and depression (obviously).

I just want this intense anxiety to be over with. All the things I really know about myself are just above a surface I can’t quite keep my head above. All of the anxiety delusions of not being good enough, being a terrible teacher, not controlling my student’s behaviors, being weak, being too fucked up to maintain a career…are the thoughts pulling me under, minute after minute.

I feel so desperately at a loss for how to make the anxiety and hopelessness stop.

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Not sick, not better

Not sick anymore, the cold is gone. I lied, there’s still a cough, but this is definitely the fastest cold I’ve had in a while. I came home for a few days to visit.

Depression is a funny presence. My sister says things when I’m home with her like how she thinks getting sick is all a mental game and how when she just takes zinc tablets when she feels she’s getting a cold, that the cold goes away and never manifests. She thinks a lot of it is a placebo effect and if she can convince herself she doesn’t have a cold, that her body always stops being sick.

Sometimes when I come home, I lose track of time by leaving my phone in my bedroom all day and only spending my time beside my mom in the garden or running errands with my dad. Losing track of time and days is easy and though it helps lessen general stress, it doesn’t take away depression.

It’s funny to me because I used to be so in denial of the bipolar. I used to think it was a misdiagnosis or that mine wasn’t so bad and I didn’t need medication. I used to think I could be two different people; the one who had bipolar and suffered and the one who was still an independent and carefree daughter. I want to say this thinking was during the time I was still hiding my diagnosis from my family, but I felt this even recently, this need to keep my diagnosis separate from my inner definition.

Part of it is fully accepting the sex abuse and rape and true sexuality and that there’s trauma there that isn’t processed or sorted out yet. Part of it is all the realizations and becomings and general experience in now living with this diagnosis for a few years and knowing how I respond or how long these episodes generally last.

I know that when I’m depressed it lasts at least a month. I know my hypomania in full force lasts only a few days, but with high stress, can reoccur several times a year. I know that between episodes I will have mood swings between irritable and angry feelings. I know that I’m generally harsher towards my family because I trust them but also because I don’t trust them.

I know my bipolar doesn’t go away with positive thoughts.

I’m still depressed and being home doesn’t stop that. Hiding my phone all day doesn’t make me happier. Not taking antipsychotics doesn’t lessen my daily headache. Being surrounded by people doesn’t make me feel less alone. It doesn’t make me forget I have depression or bipolar or desperately need to talk to a counselor.

I know myself pretty well these days. Coming home doesn’t fix or even mask my problems. Sometimes home amplifies them. I’m coming off my cold but still in a depressed episode. Still, it feels better knowing myself even if I don’t like what I have.

Sick Saturdays

Even without a fancy mood tracker, I’m beginning to see a pattern. Weekends with little routine or social plans are not my strength. The depressed feelings are back though significantly better than last weekend.

I went out drinking with coworkers last night and got reasonably drunk before Liz picked me up (I paid for dinner) and dropped me off at my car after. We watched Westworld, which I fell asleep for part of, then went to bed.

Today, I had already signed myself up for a cooking class at the fancy grocery store where we learned how to can and preserve jam and jellies using black currants and bourbon soaked vanilla beans (serious yum). We actually met before the class to pick the currants ourselves at the community garden, which was extra cool since its open to the public whenever. Afterwards, I picked up lunch at the grocery store, headed home to listen to the MFM podcast out on the patio, then came in and crashed for a long nap.

I’ve had a sore throat and extreme tiredness all week. The tiredness may still be linked to the depressive episode, though I think I’m mostly moving past that quite quickly. The sore throat popped up around Thursday, and after having most of the high school class out sick with a respiratory cold this week, I’m pretty convinced that’s what is coming on.

The sky outside is green and stormy and its supposed to be patchy like this through tomorrow. Monday is the last day of school, with most kids not coming, and my old coworkers and I going out for Mexican after work.

Shit is good, it’s just hard being in a new place with few friends, no girlfriend, and a scratchy sore throat. But, I can hear Liz in the next room, I still need to make dinner, and just realizing all these factors makes me realize the depressive episode has mostly faded.

Tomorrow is church and an evening concert. We’re not gone at all.

iPhone – Timeline

July 7, 2018

December 12, 2016: I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Panic Disorder

June 1, 2017: I came out to my family about having both disorders

December 31, 2017: I came out to my sister as bisexual

January 1, 2018: I came out to my parents as bisexual

July 6, 2018: I admitted to myself I’d been raped on February 11, 2011, I used the R word

July 7, 2018: I admitted to myself that I’m not bisexual, I’m gay

 

 

It’s a process and it’s always updating.

Leg work

On my end will be the mental stuff

Like telling myself I’m good enough.

I want you to make me strong

So everyone else knows it.

But really, I’ve joined 2 running groups, a biking group, 1 yoga studio, and 1 gym with hopefully 1 personal trainer.

Time and place

When was a time where you came the closest to killing yourself?

A lightening storm in ’08…

Not when you were still just thinking about it.

A college dorm in ’11…

But when you almost left.

A kitchen floor in ’16…

So only a few times, that’s no so bad…

Relief

There was a statement I read off a suicide prevention blog back in high school.

“If you kill your self then you will never be around long enough to feel the relief of death, your last moments on earth will be in pain.”

Every time a suicide idealization came back into my thoughts I’d remember this sentence and it would instantly bring me back to reality again. I wish I could remember what site I was on or had some way of letting that person know just how powerful that sentence was, just how many times it saved my life over the last 10 years.

Family

Me to my dad as he continued to talk over me: “YOU DON’T GET A VOICE. YOU DON’T GET A VOICE.”

Him: “I always like your natural hair better. Why did you have to dye it so reddish?”

*It’s not red, but with box dye (after a bad professional job that turned the back of my hair orange), it’s the closest I could come to my natural reddish brown color*

Him: “It looks like you have a worm in your ear.”

*Daith piercing, which I was extremely open and upfront about the purpose of getting it to help with my anxiety/panic disorder* He still doesn’t believe I have either disorder.

Him: “You know, I’ll always be willing to pay to have those tattoos removed.”

I got them so I could fucking cope with my world. My world of bipolar and ptsd and queerness and independence and anxiety.

I got them to fucking cope and none of these things are a joke to me. 


Everything he criticizes me about are all the things I’ve done to help myself, but I’ve tried to be as respectful as I can about them. My tattoos are mostly hidden, I don’t talk about my mental health openly anymore, my hair is always dyed a natural hair color (also for work), and I am fucking stable, always.

I just want, deep down, I just want my dad and mom to be proud of me. I want them to be proud of all of me, not just the things I’ve done and the independence/space I’ve created. I won’t get them to love the tattoos or hair dye or girlfriends I bring home or even accept that I’m gay. I really wish they would, but at the very least, I wish they wouldn’t openly tell me how disappointed they are. I wish they’d keep those comments, those thoughts, to themselves.

I dread hearing how much of me they don’t like.

After Laura

Laura and I broke up Friday morning, 4 days short of our 1 month anniversary. She did most the talking and seemed like she wanted to move past the Wednesday night no-call fuck up. I disagreed and asked for a break because, as I explained to her, I think I’ve been hypomanic for a few days.

Regardless, I’ve been off my medication for about a month now and have done nothing (supplements, exercise, counseling, yoga, diets, meditation) to cope. Literally, I’ve done nothing, I just keep putting it off because I’m busy. So now its kind of come to a head and I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread and it feels a little dangerous.

She took a breath, then asked what my coping mechanisms are because her mother has bipolar too and she has “already been through that pain and disappointment” and needs me to be “strong and a constant emotional support during these hard times with surgeries and the healing process the next few weeks” and I can’t be that. Without thinking about what I want, looking ahead, I can’t be that support because I’m not stable enough.

So she broke up with me. And it sucks. And like Nicole, I don’t feel like I’ll feel anything for a few weeks until it hits. Or maybe, since we only dated for a month I won’t feel much at all. But, we lost our final virginities to each other. I call it that because each of us did everything else with other partners, except giving oral sex, and scissoring was new to each of us too I guess.

I want to drink and have sex with gals (maybe go back to guys?) and figure out what living unstable is really going to mean.