Back to the mental health side of things….

I’m great. I’m what Aleister Crowley would call rejoicing in the thrill of life and death. I am awake. I am pleased, and I am also quite far from finished.

I was not so great for a long time. I was in a frustrated depression for several months. I finally ignored everything I was certain I knew about myself and tried an antidepressant. It made a huge difference. I feel like myself again, not a seething and self-loathing head case.

Antidepressants are usually a risk with the bipolar but wellbutrin is slightly less risky so we gave it a try. It’s cool because I have noticed that I get decent ADHD coverage from it on days I don’t take my Ritalin.

But yeah, I got a job on the beach bussing tables. The money is good and it’s close to home. I’m feeling alright and I have wellbutrin and my wonderful and supportive lover to thank for it.

Aside from that, just pleasantly living life. Almost done with my battle vest. A few spikes and a few more thelema pins and it’s donezo.. May your team win. Thanks.

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On a lighter note…

It’s been rough but things are looking up. After running out of cigs last night I decided to give the patch another try. It seems much more doable now and my heart rate is calming down from the steady stream versus spiking with a cigarette every hour or so.

I responded to a Craigslist ad regarding a kitchen job that’s a block from my place. Not wanting to risk waiting for a reply caused me to go in this morning and apply. I got an interview on the spot and I think it went fairly well. I’ll know for sure in a couple days.

I keep reminding myself how crucial patience is when dealing with the capricious nature of life. My boyfriend gets back tomorrow and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Working out has been my ace up my sleeve. It’s nice to know that some things are always what they are.

If I can’t continue with Adderall I may have to give Ritalin or Provigil another go. Whatever. I’ll cross that bridge when I reach it. In the meantime I’m just trying to stay positive and productive.

So Ja, I’m feeling pretty good about things. Let’s hope the forces of nature keep favoring me. That’s all for now πŸ™‚

Obligatory Update

Well, I’m hanging with things to the best of my ability. I’m not in a terrible state but not exactly walking tall either. My arm is less painful but still awry. It doesn’t cause a lot of pain but just feels funny and weak when I do things like open doors and other things that cause rotation.

That said, money and whatnot is pretty tight as I haven’t had a job in a few weeks. I’m looking but not having much success. I keep telling myself to just keep the hell at it. It makes me feel really icky being unemployed and the stress has really been weighing on me. I’m holding on, but I’ve been having some mini fits and depressive periods.  Part of it is that my boyfriend has been in Alaska since Wednesday and I’ve grown quite tired of my own company.

Having two cats and a dog helps. They give me joy with their wacky antics. My man gets back Sunday night so at least I have that to look forward to.

The lousy thing is that I’m still somewhat injured in spite of all the antiinflammatory drugs and Neurontin.  A lot of things I can do with no problem but certain types of motions cause it to pinch. I don’t have any real intense neuropathy going on, more of just a general unease and lingering weakness.

I’m looking for a sooner appointment with the Neurologist as the first one I could get is nearly a month away. My nicotine patches arrived And… Too damned strong. I had to take it off after thirty minutes because I was literally tripping on nicotine.

So yeah, a few setbacks of late. Also, I haven’t been taking anything for ADHD because of blood pressure issues. This is another situation that is resolving itself extremely slowly and is taking a rather decent toll on the larger picture. Can’t really do anything theatrical with a gimp hand so… I’m just sweating it out by my damn self. Mostly. My dear friend took me out to have a beer last night which was very nice.

So yeah, in the holding pattern of holding patterns. Trying to get my shit together and break away from the mire.

On loving again…

As much as I ever bitch about life’s trials, I am grateful beyond words for the Man I love. I certainly have moments when I feel like I can’t handle life anymore. That said, I’ve never been with anyone male or female that has been so incredibly supportive and kind.

A girl I know from doing theatre said to me once ‘I don’t want much. I just want a nice boy who listens to punk and tells me I’m pretty.’. I couldn’t help but smirk as I replied ‘Works for me.’. I don’t consider myself a particularly egotistical or high maintenance kind of boyfriend most of the time. Still though, it tickles my heart to no end that he takes the time to tell me I look dashing or whatever. The sweet little things he does lift my spirits like nothing else in this world.

Maybe it’s just because so many so called girlfriends or boyfriends treated me like I didn’t exist in the past. I feel like I finally have an equal partner who treats me with respect and affection.

I guess it really helps that he has a mental health background. People in the past tried to relate but tended to look at me like I was a total lunatic.Β  He respects the fact that I manage my conditions to the best of my ability and I feel like I can tell him anything. I know it sounds clichΓ© but I can just be myself around him and I’m grateful for it.

One night he invited me over for dinner. I was really excited about it. I wore a nice shirt and tie with my grey fedora and slacks and whatnot. As I knocked on the door I briefly thought ‘Am I way overdressed for this?’. This brief flash of anxiety was quelled as he answered the door in a similar outfit at which point we smiled and passionately embraced.

When he went to Alaska for a few weeks it was the first time I’d ever taken a lover to the airport. I cried a little as I left the airport. I guess you could say that He’s really under my skin.

We share a fascination with cuisine, theatre and the occult. We’re pretty different people but have many similarities in spite of having pretty different styles.

He makes my every molecule feel alive, as if my blood cells are dancing and twisting with feral delight. All clever attempts at prose aside, I am head over heels in fucking love!Β  I have never been this comfortable with another person or so lightheartedly at ease. I think I’ll keep him πŸ˜‰

I’ve had so many partners and so few serious lovers. This man is seriously the genuine article.

That’s about all I have for now πŸ™‚

Contradictions….

So many things which seem to be the purest form thereof….are not. Whether one is talking about chemistry of the romantic and neurological varieties, or a really stunning recipe, or a crossover album or WHATEVER- Some things which seem like a bad idea on paper or in theory turn out to be stunning testaments to human ingenuity. It all depends on how you approach it.

Some of the Metal music I adore is honestly pure schlock and cheese. But it works despite how cartoony it may appear on the surface. A great deal of my friends are people I never thought I would ever have any common ground with. Variety is truly the spice of life.

So it goes with many things. My current boyfriend and I actually have some things in common, which is highly unusual for me. I usually find myself awkwardly mismatched and grasping for the words at any moment. When I saw him recently we listened to some Brian Eno, some Lycia, some Jess and The Ancient Ones and I even managed (being a devious bastard) to slip some Mortuary Drape in there. He isn’t an obsessive listener and just told me to surprise him. Still,Β  he was pretty receptive to everything I played. Important plot point this is. He and I are very different people but we seem to be a good fit.

Back to contradictions, let’s talk about the chemical management of the bipolar one/adhd stuff. Risperdal and Adderall. The most potent dopamine blocker on the market combined with the most powerful stimulant. You would figure this would be a clear case of canceling one another out, ja? Not the case. The risperdal generally keeps me calm as a hindu cow while the adderall makes me think more.. I guess you could call it linearly and logically. I can plan ahead as I go and not get sidetracked by every stupid little thing. I’m hoping I can use this to help me conquer some sort of schooling soon. I went to trade school for HVAC but my back and shoulders are in no shape for that sort of work anymore.

I’ve started this blog for a few primary reasons.

1. To have a place where I can speak relatively freely and release pressure.

2. To get myself back in the habit of writing.

3. To offer what perspective, insight and support I can to the community of mental health bloggers on wordpress.

Blogging here has been an immensely valuable resource for me in the past. Whether it’s for just blowing off steam. sharing strategies for coping or just having a place to share/be oneself this is a wonderful community. I’ve had to narrow my audience a bit as I’m not really ‘out’ with about half my family. So there goes publicizing on facebook. Still, I’m doing it more for peace of mind than the gathering of followers.

So that’s about where I’m at. Enjoying my mental health sabbatical and getting my affairs in order. Medicare dragged their feet on striking me from the rolls so I nearly lost my tax credit for my current insurance. Got it sorted out though. As it stands though I’m kind of in the weeds. I was on Social Security Disability for five years. My case was flagged for termination while I was still barely functional because I started working part time. I was still a mess though.

I filed for an extension of benefits while my appeal was being reviewed. However, something changed. After about nine months after I filed I got taken off of Lithium and put on Risperdal. I was aΒ  literally like a new man after about a month on Risperdal. I abandoned my appeal indicating to them that my condition had drastically improved and I was no longer interested in pursuing the hearing. So I got stuck with the bill because I signed an agreement stating that I understood I may have to pay the appeal payments back.

So I owe about a year of SSDI back. Eleven Thousand dollars. Ouch. I’m a person of modest income so this will take a long time to pay off. However, I have made arrangements for monthly payments. It’s a bitter pill to swallow as I feel I’m being punished for getting better. My condition was well established as causing impairment and the change for the better was abrupt. Still- what can I do?

In spite of this all, I feel good. I know I’ve changed for the better because the old me would be going completely to pieces over this kind of stuff. Experience really is the best teacher.

That’s about all I have for now. Be well.

-Thom

 

P.S.- One final thing- regarding the title ‘Planet Berserk’: My nickname among friends has been Berserker since I was seventeen years old (32 now). It is what it is πŸ˜‰