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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Slogging away

My life is pretty chaotic at present. My home/romantic life is wonderful but other facets of my life are to put it simply falling apart. I can’t find employment to save my life. I’ve had a kajillion interviews and zero callbacks. The consistent theme lately seems to be rejection.  To be perfectly honest, it isn’t a huge surprise to me.

My resume is pretty weak, all things considered. I’ve had two severe mental collapses in my life. Both times my working life seriously regressed.  All I have for stable work experience in the last few years is shitty low end crap restaurant jobs that ran me ragged.

That’s why I’m pushing forward with the Vincent House thing. Because I’ve never really gotten any kind of help for being mentally ill. I feel like I would be severely stupid to not further investigate the possibility.  As far as that goes, I’m doing what I have to do. I have to first open a case with Florida vocational rehabilitation and designate Vincent House as my provider.

I’ve been through the place and talked to people there. I think these people can really help me get on the right track and I look forward to making it happen.

It’s been ten years since my first nervous breakdown that resulted in my type one bipolar disorder diagnosis. I have tried and tried harder than I thought was humanly possible to make it on my own. I simply can’t make a decent living with what’s available to me. I can’t handle the heat of kitchens any more with all the meds that I take daily.

I’m just not built for straight up warfare type jobs anymore. I need a new skill or something.  I had my intake/orientation appointment with vocational rehabilitation a couple days ago. Tuesday I have my meeting with the counselor to talk about my history and determine my eligibility I suppose.

Here’s hoping. I feel like this is my best shot and I’m taking it. Say a little invocation for me, won’t you?

Brain Shivers….

Yes, it IS as strange and unpleasant as it might sound. Drugs that hit certain types of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine are often the cause of this most icky feeling of symptoms. The brain is a big ol’ web of electrical signals that get screwed up by sudden withdrawal from certain central nervous system drugs.

The brain shivers involve the electrical activity in ones brain going slightly haywire from the aforementioned withdrawal from these meds. For me, it was Effexor. My doctor took me off of it way too fast and I had four days with no sleep and blip after blip of weird neurological activity.

It’s sort of like a bad mushroom Trip that just makes you progressively more batshit and just plain miserable.

Coming off this drug was worse than any withdrawal I’ve ever experienced including opiates. Would never wish it on my worst enemies.  I was certain that I would never sleep again. I was sick, upside down feeling and just plain awful after smoking some marijuana finally put me out for the night after day four.

I hope you never have to experience this. Remember to go nice and easy and slow when titrating down on any psych drug.

Muh Chemical Profile

I’ve been taking various central nervous system drugs since I was a wee Berserker of seven or eight. My current cocktail, including non-psych meds is:

Risperdal 3mg daily
Ritalin XR 20 mg daily
Wellbutrin XR 150 mg daily (beginning tomorrow morning)
Metropolol 25 mg daily
Benazepril  6.5 mg daily
Also occasional ibuprofen for joint pain and I keep a few vistaril on hand for the times when sleep is elusive.

Some folks tell me it’s horrible that I take all these meds. I don’t think it is myself. Aside from them working at keeping me sane, organized and not hypertensive or achy I don’t really feel like I’m ‘on’ anything. I’d like to see you manage arthritis with no analgesics.

At some point in my life I have had these experiences with the following drugs:
Abilify- Made me very foggy and was rather unremarkable.
Adderall XR- was great for my attention span but revved my heart like crazy .
Buspar- didn’t do crap for my anxiety and made me feel blah.
Celexa- kept me hypomanic before being discontinued when the psych unit was bringing me down from a feral lexapro induced mania.
Depakote- Acute psychotic reaction. Tried to start a revolt in the crisis ward. Fun stuff.
Effexor- Absolutely despised it. Felt like a zombie dipped in shit. Plus I had the most horrible withdrawal. Ever hear of the brain shivers? Because I never had.
Geodon- Good results for pulling me out of madness. It does scary stuff to the heart though. Wouldn’t repeat it.
Lamictal- helped at first but crapped out fast.
Lithium- blunted my emotions profoundly. I couldn’t cry while I was on it. I can now. I’m glad that the side effects outweighed the benefits enough to try something else.
Provigil- great for ADHD but needs a time release coat or something as it poops out too quickly.
Tegretol- took at the same time as Geodon. It’s a seizure med so it’ll basically make you kinda drunk and disoriented like it did for me.
Zyprexa- made me fat. But slayed my psychosis like nothing else. Calmed me the fuck down fast.
Lexapro- induced a terrifying series of rapid cycling manic episodes. I am still cobbling my life back together from this period.
Strattera- didn’t do crap for my ADHD. made me feel really sluggish and ditzy at the higher doses.
Risperdal- works better for me than any drug ever has in terms of keeping me stable without completely zonking me into oblivion. It is a good med for the  bipolar/ADHD combo in particular. However, at the higher doses (6mg and up) it can do a number on your hormones. I only take three mg and my doctor is hesitant to raise it.

As with a great many things, results may and will vary. This is just what I got out of these particular drugs.  Hope you have found this entertaining and informative.

Depression Part Deux

I’m changing my approach as my ‘soul of iron’ is no longer cutting it. I’ve been in a funk since before Thanksgiving. I kept telling myself it would get better after the holidays. But it hasn’t. I still have the same hair trigger agitation and  fairly regular spells of explosive weeping.

As I mentioned in previous posts regarding this particular subject there’s… an issue of sorts. I’m Bipolar. More specifically the Manic variety. As such, giving me antidepressants, particularly the SSRI kind is a dangerous proposition. It can induce the worst kind of batshit mania known to man. A lexapro induced mania led to my first hospitalization and I was a bucket of wacky. When I would finally crash I was so depressed I was nearly catatonic.

But yeah, after the last few months, I’m
warming up to giving it another try. My shrink tells me the mania potential is less with multiple reuptake inhibitors as opposed to strictly serotonin inducing meds. I’m already (more or less) stable on risperdal so that works in my favor too.

I have to try something. I’m tired of feeling like putting a grenade in my mouth.

It’s been frustrating. It took a lot of nerve on my part to actually talk to my doctor about this. The first med he prescribed I tried to fill today on the way home from my appointment. Not covered by my insurance.  I walked home in the rain crying and pretty much cursing life.

I feel relatively alright right now, at least alright enough to try to articulate some of this stuff. It’s like walking across a booby trapped floor. Not sure if the depression I keep falling into is worse than the anticipation thereof.

As gloomy a post as this is, it’s the best I’ve got right now aside from one bright spot: I met with the people at the Vincent House today and am getting the vocational rehabilitation ball rolling.  That compels me to get this depression under control more than any tea or sympathy in the world. I keep telling myself my current job isn’t forever.

Also, (and this is a huge one) I have the most kind, witty and devastatingly handsome Boyfriend in the universe.

I’ll survive, I just have to keep these things in sight.

Onward.

Getting kicks on the 76

That’s right, blogging on the bus. I figured a forty minute or so ride would be sufficient time to spit out a few thoughts. I’m nervous about a great many things on the horizon because well….  That’s how I roll and stuff.

My sister is getting married and naturally I’m happy for her. I’m just worried that now that the whole fam knows I’m queer it might be…. A tad awkward. Whatever, I’ll do the best I can and maybe pack a flask for good measure. I’m thinking Bird Dog or Wild Turkey.

My job is really stressing me out. I’ve been begging to get taken off prep and they keep scheduling me to work prep. I can do it but the knife work makes my tendons in my arm hurt. I feel like I’ll never heal up this way.

My love life is still kickass and amazing.  My lover is patient and kind. He’s also as strange as me if not a bit more twisted still. He makes my heart light and full of laughter.

There’s a concert I want to go to Saturday that I’ll most likely have to miss due to not having access to a car.

Mentally I’ve been a bit short fused lately. I’m mostly attributing it to slacking with working out. This I intend to fix.

That’d  be it for now. 

Joyful (Re)Discovery

After an irritating few years, I once again have a working turntable. Better yet, I can convert records to MP3s with it so I can have it all even when I’m on the go. As you might imagine, I am extremely happy with this. My Boyfriend is the absolute best ever for getting me back in touch with my vinyl collection.  Best Christmas ever, for reals.

I intend to eventually get lots of Metal and Occult Psychedelica Records. The albums currently in my sights are Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Blessed Are the Sick and The Thousandfold Epicentre.

Aside from that I’m simply trying to enjoy life more. Reading more, laughing more, spending time outside more. Spending more time with my Darling as well. It was rough for about eight days there with him fighting a flu and me catching a milder one. Played nurse quite a while I did.

Things are normalizing now and I’m growing more concerned about the future. I told a friend from work about what I was planning to do and she said she thought I was better than that. That kind of irked me. People who never see me at my worst tend to make the most ‘You seem fine to me” type of judgments when I’m being open about my problems. Comes with the territory I suppose.

But yeah, I have no desire to keep doing what I’m doing. I want to get into something completely new that actually somewhat applies my creative energy.

We shall see. I’m optimistic about it 😂

Edging Forward

It’s taken a long time,  but I may just now have found a way.  I’ve known for years about a place in my county that does vocational rehabilitation for the mentally ill.  I never thought I needed it until now.

Actually,  that’s not entirely accurate.  I already did vo rehab through the state of Florida in my old trade  (HVAC). After two serious collapses I no longer found myself capable of that kind of work. I still sort of have the physical strength but my wiring and general technical knowledge got pretty much wiped out by losing my mind twice.

I’ve been winging it since then which equals about the last ten years of my life. I’ve done odd, Shitty and mostly food related jobs for terrible pay and a pathetic amount of time on the clock. All the while being abundantly aware of how hard I’m getting screwed. At least in comparison to what I used to make in my early twenties before I went cuckoo.

I’ve been immensely depressed and morose for some time about the state of my working life. Sometimes the fact I’m working at all amazes me. I was on Social security benefits for nearly five years for acute impairment due to  bipolar disorder which was diagnosed just before my twenty-fourth birthday.

I try to cut myself some slack for how far I’ve come and give myself a little credit for still being alive. I just recently fully came out of the closet with my family which has been a major load on my mind as long as I can remember. They were all pretty cool about that and everything actually went much better than I expected.

But yeah, I want to do more than work in a kitchen.  This place has a wide variety of skill training and I feel like they could really help me succeed which in turn would make me more self actualized and most likely a bit happier day to day.

I actually have to give most of the credit to my boyfriend.  He gives me loads of encouragement and told me that it sounded like something that I should pursue.  I’m not used to being with someone who builds me up.  It’s really incredible and beautiful.

The interview process begins in two weeks.  That gives me time to download forms and have them ready when I go there.  I’m really excited about this.

That’s all for now, but if I think of anything else you’ll be the first to hear it.

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 🙂

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.