Astramillie’s Weblog

Just a girl who’s bipolar trying to figure out her world

To be a spinster or not to be November 8, 2008

So, my birthday is around the corner.  39.  Once again the ugly head of spinsterhood is facing me.  Sort of.  I’ve been seeing someone for about 5 months, but we aren’t “exclusive.”  Or at least we weren’t.  At about month 3 I started freaking out about having someone in life in a perhaps permanent way.  I told him to date other women, that I couldn’t give him what he needed.  I was being brutally honest.  I cared about him but couldn’t do a lot of the things a girlfriend should do. 

My agoraphobia stops me from going out to eat, go to the movies, really any kind of “date” thing.  Let alone go to his house where his teenage kids were.  I could down any number of Klonopins and still feel the band around my chest and labored breathing.  There is a line from a song by the Magnetic Fields that sums me up – “I’m un-boyfriendable.”  I can’t handle variations in my routine and trying to fit another person into my life is incredibly disruptive. 

He was really persistant and a few weeks ago I gave in and started seeing him again on a more regular basis.  I was still insistant that he see other people though.  Then last week I took a big breath and actually spent the night at his house.  I survived.  But, it changed how I looked at our relationship.  The simple act of spending the night with him shifted my resolve.  I don’t want him to see other women now.  Damn it, I don’t want to be here.  It doesn’t seem fair to move the goal posts on him.  I don’t want to be possessive, nor do I want to be “girly.”  But these feelings are creeping in. 

My daily patterns can’t be set in stone when another person is involved.  That scares the Hell out of me.  I depend on routine to hold myself together.  Right now I’m free floating, when I’m with him I feel safe but on my own I’m petrified. 

It doesn’t help that I’m experiencing a low level depressive cycle right now.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with the change in weather.  I’m back to going to bed by 7pm and waking up at 2am.  Crap.  I haven’t been able to write, its a struggle to do my homework.  Luckily I see the P Doc on Monday.

I guess the bottom line is that I’m safer by myself with just the obligatory cats and dog.  But, is safer better?  Isn’t happiness more likely when you risk something?  He and I are supposed to be talking today, I guess I will see how he reacts to a change in the rules.  Where is the xanax patch when you need it?

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Where I’ve been October 5, 2008

Filed under: Mental Health,mental illness,Uncategorized — astramillie @ 6:06 pm
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I haven’t written since before the hysterectomy.  I’ve been blocked.  The surgery went very well – the fibroid was honestly as big as a grapefruit.  Why do we always use fruit as our gauge?

I was getting fuzzy headed so the p. doc took me off Topomax.  The change is amazing, clear head, getting things done, and I have my short term memory back.  Yay!

Doing well this semester but I was reminded that I have a limited amount of RAM.  I was taking two classes and at the same time organizing Obama events.  Nothing was getting done well.  I was just spread to thin, I don’t have the capacity others have.  I can only concentrate on one big thing at a time.  Dropped one of the classes and gave up on my career as a campaign organizer.  Hopefully he wins without my daily help.

I even attempted a relationship – didn’t work.  I really am a spinster at heart.  I’m all for casual dating, but I don’t have it in me right now to put the proper work into a serious relationship.  But, that’s ok.  I have the dog, the two cats, and buddy the betta.  I also have a rat – but I’m looking for a new home for him, I can’t play with him like he deserves.  He’s going to live with a pre-teen boy, I hope. 

That’s all for now, just an update.  More to come…

 

Watch what you wish for;or the world’s biggest anxiety attack May 27, 2008

Well, I’ve kept quiet on this blog for a while.  I’ve been absorbing my health news.  The cm vs mm michigas was solved.  I have both.  There is a 6 cm fibroid on the outside of my uterus and 5 mm on the inside.  The gyno told me that he would remove the one on the inside since that was the one that was causing the wacky menstration.  The huge thing growing on the outside we’d just “watch” as the only way to get rid of it would be a hystorectomy.  Ummm…ok.

Now, I put on a lot of weight in the last year and a half.  Both my p-doc and GP decided that after 8 years the seroquel was causing it.  I never really bought it, but sure enough when I ramped down I lost 10 lbs pretty quickly.  But, when I gain weight I usually gain it first in my belly.  When I lose it, I lose it there first.  Not this time.  And, its not fleshy, its hard, as if I were pregnant (I’ve been waiting for someone to ask when I’m due.  I’ve seen that happen to friends, so cringeworthy).  I’m sure that’s the fibroid. 

But, that’s not the reason for my decision, its just a piece of the puzzle.

Anyway – as I’m talking to the gyno I ask “if you remove the fibroid in the uterus, what are the odds I’ll be back in your office within say, a year?”   He answered “Very good odds.”  So, I explained to him that it was found that I had some genetic anomaly that made it impossible for me to have children, and therefore had no need for my uterus.  He said “so I’m hearing that you would rather have a hysterectomy sooner than later?”  I said yes if you think I’ll have to have one later.  He told me he didn’t want to use the word “have” to.

Here is the self-fulfilling prophesy – Ever since I got the no children sentence handed down, I’ve joked that I didn’t think it was fair to have to still have periods and I might as well have a hysterectomy.  Well, guess what.

I’ve been very clinical about it.  I’ve researched the hell out of the topic.  Doctor sites, discussion boards, books from the library, and very clinical articles.  I know what I’m getting into, I’m not doing this lightly.  I was having surgery anyway.  And, would eventually have this one.  I could discuss it calmly, was  little scared, but the academic in me was in control.

Then came Saturday.

I woke up with an elephant on my chest.  I know what an anxiety attack feels like.  I know agoraphobia like I know my best friends (actually better).  It came time to walk to my parents for ironically my klonopin and Xanax, and I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t just leave my house, I couldn’t leave my bedroom.  What I was scared of in my living room I can’t explain, but it scared the hell out of me.  Luckily my mother was kind enough to bring my pills to me.  They barely dented the anxiety.  I spent the entire day in bed kind of playing on the computer reminding myself to breathe.  I was too far along for any type of relaxation exercise.  It was terrifying, I haven’t felt that way since I moved here almost 2 years ago.  Everything just hit at once I guess.

I’m better now, still have low lying anxiety.  Can walk to my parents, trying the grocery store this morning (maybe).  Does anyone know if they make either a xanx drip I can pull around with me or a klonopin patch?

 

Scared and semi-alone May 19, 2008

Filed under: female health,Mental Health,mental illness — astramillie @ 8:30 am
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So, today I see the gyno.  My mother is going with me, which is great.  I need the support and a second pair of ears.  Its the kind of appointment where a lot of information is going to be thrown at you and I don’t know about you but there will be a slight buzzing in my ears from fright.  So its good to have someone else there to pick up info that I miss.

Because of my lifestyle, in the year and a half that I’ve lived here I’ve made 2 friends.  Neither of which are very close friends, they are older women and have grown children of their own, I’m like a novelty to them.  I have a couple of old friends from my previous life, but they aren’t the ones I would pick to be the ones who I’d still have if given the choice.  Things had gotten so bad I alienated friends I had had for 10 years or more.  I’ve made overtures towards a couple with no luck.  Yes, I have my parents.  But, I can’t pick up the phone and just chat with them.  And I’m not allowed to discuss my sister on this blog.  Enough said.  I tried to call two of the old friends yesterday and both were busy and I pretty much got blown off.  One called back and wanted to call while she was in transit somewhere, but I was at the store.  The other, was, well with her who the hell knows.

So, here it is 1 in the morning and I realize how alone I am.  How am I supposed to meet people.  People scare me.  I have three or so places that I’m not afraid to go to.  Otherwise I’m petrified to leave the house.  Why else would I go to school online?  I used to be so outgoing, made friends easily.  I had anxious periods, those periods became longer and longer until they were everyday.  Even on the amount of klonopin that I am, this fear takes over.  I’ve tried all the things you are supposed to.  Maybe I’m lazy and its easier to just live this way than do the work.  But, at this point what am I supposed to do?  Go to a cafe walk up to someone at a table and say “Hi, I’m Samantha, will you be my friend?”

Anyway, its too late right now.  I’m scared and lonely right now.  I need someone to talk to about today’s appointment and the biopsy now.  I need to talk on the phone, have someone make me laugh and forget about this underlying panic for a few minutes.  But, for a variety of reasons (which I have to honestly say I still don’t completely understand) I don’t have those type of friends anymore.  And, I miss them terribly.

 

Ahhh, meds that work! May 17, 2008

Filed under: Mental Health,mental illness — astramillie @ 9:54 am
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So, let’s get off the uterus subject.  After two months of utter hell, its over!  Ramping down my blessed seroquel (why oh why did it have to stop helping like it used to?) and starting the higher dosages of Abilify and Topomax was awful.  I was climb the walls, spend money like water, scrub the walls with an sos pad manic.  I couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t write, couldn’t even read a book.  And, I’m a two book a week reader.  Somehow I got through my semester with an A.  When I had a paper I just chunked it into little pieces.  Luckily, I was fascinated by the topic enough to get through it, and had a fantastic professor who understood my predicament.

I can read again!  Finish a complete thought, and look I’m writing!  It might not be great, but its something.  I see things clearly now and am looking for a money manager who can take my finances out of my mother’s hands and make it harder for me to get my hands on my funds in case I have a manic spending phase again.  Not a conservator, just a money manager/accountant type.  I found a group of lawyers who laid out a plan, but said they were too expensive for me and pledged to help me find someone.

Now I can deal with some family crap.  Can’t go into it here.  I made a promise to my family I wouldn’t post anything about them.  This leaves definite wholes in this blog, but a promise is a promise.

I’m working on post of a few parts about my manic trip from Sacramento to Maine.  Look for it!

 

Road from destruction (for best results, start with pt. 1) April 29, 2008

            Now, where have my parents been through all of this?  I’ve been in Sacramento; they now live in Eureka on the northern coast of California.  I’ll make calls to my dad to ask woodworking questions, emailing him pictures of things I want to make.  I have short calls to my mom and sister.  But, they know me and they are starting to realize that something is wrong.

            My birthday is November 20th, right near Thanksgiving.  My parents have decided to come get me and take me to Eureka.  My mom and sister come on my birthday and want to take me out to dinner.  When they get there, I’ve tried my best to make my apt look nice (impossible).  I tell them we need to get take out, I can’t do a restaurant.  I notice many shared looks between them.

            I bring the dog, leave the cat with enough food for a month not for the four days I’ll be gone.  I feel so guilty for leaving him by himself; there is no one I trust to check in on him.  He’ll be fine though.

            During my visit I realize it is actually an intervention.  They have made plans to move me to Eureka.  I can still go to school, since its online I could live in a tree as long as I can get a signal.  Mom is going to be my payee, take over my finances.  She will pay my rent and bills for me (from my money, this is no free ride).  My job is to pack up the apartment which includes getting rid of about half my stuff, and to go to the county clinic and get my meds and find out how to transfer my information to the new county.

            I kept expecting to get angry.  I never do.  I’m relieved.  This is what I wanted when I was in the hospital two years ago after the Geodon stroke.  I knew I was going to get sick, but was too proud to ask my parents for help.  Think of all the things I would have avoided – two black out car accidents, an evil boyfriend, pretending low lives were my friends, and leaving splatters of black paint on the kitchen floor from painting shelves that never quite stood up straight.

            After they drive me back to Sacramento I start to tell everyone I’m leaving.  They all pretend to care on a personal level.  Yeah, right.  The redecorating friend and I put my sofa and huge army surplus desk in two different alleys.  I start just handing things out.  I made a mistake on a couple of things, but most were things I’ve moved from place to place for 15 years and have never needed.

            All the while I’m trying to keep up with the Romance class.  I give up a week before it ended.  I talk to the Dean and it is decided that if I get a Psychiatrists letter I can get a medical withdrawal.  This brings up mom’s rule about meds.  I go to the country clinic, after a week’s wait I see their Dr. I have my meds and start taking them.  My brain slowly starts to come back to me.  Boy, when I start seeing what I have been doing with my life comes to me; I want to crawl under my bed.

            The day after Christmas my parents come with a U-haul.  My dad looks at my “shop” and shakes his head.  We can’t fit the workbench, but I find a friend to sell it to.  I end up selling most of the bigger items in Eureka because my dad has everything, and better versions in his shop.  I’ve made a beautiful Poplar coffee table with my dad, four full size bookshelves (that actually stand up straight and hold books), and a shelving system for the bathroom.  But, I’ll always look back on my kitchen wood shop with a smile.

            Once we find an apartment I can afford my little family settles in (the dog isn’t really supposed to be here, but the owner is 100 miles away) and I start to get used to quiet living.  I love it.  I’m 3 semesters from graduation with a healthy GPA.  I’m writing a lot.  I have plans.  I have an advisor at a university with an online option who is interested in my idea for a Doctoral dissertation.  I found a wonderful Psychiatrist.  He listens to me, he calls me on things. But if I say something isn’t working he’ll say let’s try something else.  If I say I was researching new meds and I liked what they said about this, he’ll look it up as well and give his opinion on whether or not I should try it

Its not all flowers and butterflies, but it’s a nice life.

 

Road to Destruction pt. 6

Filed under: Mental Health,mental illness — astramillie @ 12:50 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, yes I spent the summer using power tools I had no business using in the state I was in.  I’d be so manic I hadn’t slept in a day or so.  For some reason the old apartment building I lived in was sound proofed quite well (my apartment was sub-basement) and my upstairs neighbor could only hear the router (probably because its one of the loudest tools and my router table was right under her bed) and the table saw if the window was open.  So, I would be up at 2 am piddling around in my “shop” making coasters and planters.

 

            Then school started.  I was really looking forward to it.  I was taking two classes, against my better judgment.  I knew it would be better to start off with just one class, but once I make a plan there is no talking me out of it.  As the classes started I was excited, this is what I was talking about.  The two courses were Romantic Attraction and Close Relationships and Leadership: An Historical and Literary Study.  They seemed to be fascinating topics.

            Unfortunately, my brain was not working correctly.  Why should it?  I hadn’t given it a medication in a month or so.  I tried valiantly.  In each class we had weekly posts to the class online bulletin board.  The leadership class had a long paper due every two weeks.  It was the Romance class that kicked my butt.  Each week the professor gave us five to six questions to answer.  Doesn’t seem hard does it.  I received a C on my first assignment.  What?  I. DO. NOT. GET. Cs.  We each get an email from the Professor with a critique.  I did not come close to the amount of explanation he was expecting.  The next week I work on it for three days, turn in a 7 page paper.  A-.  This is what he expects every week.  There is no way I can handle the work of both of these classes.

            The leadership class is turning into a business class.  We’ve seen how well I do in that realm.  The date to drop with a refund is coming near; I need to make a decision.  I drop it.  It might have been wiser to drop the Romance class and its mountain of work, but at least the topic keeps me going.

            One fantastic byproduct of this school thing is I now have an excuse to tell the miscreants to go away “I’m doing homework, come back another day.”  Besides there really is nothing left to steal.  Someone even cleaned out my jewelry.  None of it worth much, except for my Sweet 16 pearls.  My new mantra: “its just stuff, its just stuff.”

            But, I’m getting weird.  I walk around the house talking to myself out loud.  I’ve always talked to the dog and cat, but this is different.  I’m explaining everything I’m doing.  “I’m going to get up of the couch and walk down the hall to go get a diet pepsi.  I am now walking down the hallway.”

            One of my few real friends comes over one day; He looks at my house and is amazed/disgusted.  This is a wonderful byproduct of the male gay friend.  He makes you almost fashionable.  He insists on cleaning and rearranging.  He’s a big guy and just takes charge.  I’m having a panic attack.  He’s touching my stuff.  I just follow him around talking under my breath.  He can hear me but doesn’t pay attention.  When we are done, its fantastic, a place for everything and you can see the carpet.  He starts in on a lighting scheme.  I tell him enough is enough; all I care about is my overhead lamp.  I give him a big hug and send him on his way.  Four hours with another person in the apartment is pushing it when it comes to my comfort zone.