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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Strange thoughts and behavior...is bipolar real?


Blah, where do I begin this…hmmm…I’ve been contemplating a lot recently and so much is on my mind I feel like it is going to implode. This may be long cause I’m just going to start writing and see when it all stops coming out.

So we’ve already established that I don’t really talk to anyone about my personal thoughts or feelings. That’s changing a little more with my counselor and psychiatrist, and Tim a little bit also. Well all this talking has me so confused. On the one hand there are professionals telling you “This is a legitimate problem, medication can help you,” and on the other hand you have people you know tell you, or act toward you, that there is nothing wrong, that it’s no big deal and everyone feels that way sometimes. So I am so confused, well moreso than usual lately. I don’t know who to believe or what to think. Are the doctors exaggerating what is going on? Or are the people I know minimizing it? It’s torturing me trying to figure it all out, reconcile who to believe with all my convoluted feelings.

So that has me thinking all about my thoughts and feelings in general. Ha that sounded kinda funny. I’m thinking about bipolar…about my diagnosis…what it means to me. In the past before I was hospitalized, I managed, somewhat, to keep my thoughts and feelings under control. Every once in awhile I’d have thoughts like “What would dirt taste like?” or “What if I just walked all night and didn’t come home tonight?” They may have been there but just a fleeting what if? The gone again. I told Tim about this and he said “Everyone thinks that way,” so I thought hmmm ok, I guess it’s not that weird at all.

So then it got me to thinking, ok, if it’s not so weird, why shouldn’t I just do them? Then Tim says “Well, not everyone feels things to the point where they feel they have to act on them.” And that is how I feel a lot lately, especially the last year. They aren’t just thoughts…well, they are, but instead of just dispearring, they sort of sit there and marinate in my mind to the point of really wanting to do them. Still, I manage to hold back most of the time. But it can be very, very hard. Like, right now I want a cigarette so so badly. I’ve been fighting it extremely. If it wasn’t for the bet Tim and I have I already would have given in. In ways I know it’s wrong. It’s unhealthy…it’s a really bad example for my kids…it’s an addiction…but even those rationales don’t curb the thought from my mind or the craving for it. I’ve been thinking about drugs so much lately, wanting it so badly, again a craving that is hard to fight. Or sometimes I see people and I just to talk to them, I just want to touch them. I’m managing to hold back but again it ruminates in my mind. I have no idea if this stuff is related to bipolar or if I am just strange, “eccentric” if you will, that my thoughts or behaviors fall outside of the socially condoned set of norms and therefore they are classified as a “disorder.”

And then after talking to Tim I got to thinking, why do I do some things and not others? Why is it when it do the majority of things I’m alone, yet when I’m with other people for the most part, I don’t? It has me wondering, do I do things for attention? Is it because I want to be noticed? Is it because, being diagnosed with bipolar, it now gives me a “license” to do things, if you will? Then I think, well I did these things and thought these things before I had a diagnosis so maybe not. Then I also think, well if I wanted attention wouldn’t that mean I would do it around people and not when I’m alone? Does this mean that I’m just holding things at bay when I am around others, or at least, others I know, so I am not viewed as strange, odd, or different, or that I’m not treated in a negative way? I don’t know. I am confused as to my own thoughts and motives.

In a way I definitely feel that societal rules hold me back from doing a lot of things…I may WANT to go home with that stranger…I may want to eat things off the ground…I may want to disappear and not return again. And then there are the rational thoughts afterward such as “If I go home with that stranger, I could get raped,” “If I eat that food, I could get sick,” “if I disappear it would hurt people that are close to me.” So all of that is not strange. That is how a normal person thinks. They may have thoughts of doing things, but rules, or their conscience, hold them back. And that is the way it should be. 

But then it still doesn’t curb my desire to do them. They still sit there, ruminating in my head to the point where I honestly feel one day I am GOING to do them. Like even thoughts of my kids or danger won't stop me at all. Like the other night, I went walking and thought “What would happen if walked down the middle of the road?” afterward there was the thought, “Maybe the person would honk…maybe they would go around…maybe they would hit me and I’d go to the hospital.”  This normally would deter a person from doing it. Yet I did it anyways. I thought “Well, who really cares what happens?” Incidentally, the person went around me and that was that.

I’m not sure if this falls under the category of “impulsiveness” which is a big criteria of bipolar. I always think of impulsiveness as someone just wildly and crazily does stuff without thinking and later goes “Uh oh, what did I do?” In that sense, no I don’t just run off down the street. It’s somewhat deliberate yet on the other hand I just don’t care what happens. I have no idea what to describe that as. Maybe I am just weak and I need to try harder to keep myself at bay. Maybe I am using bipolar as an excuse to get away with things that are unacceptable to others. Who knows.

Then, of course, my moods are all over. As I’ve been writing lately. At first I thought the Lamictal was working…for the first two months things seemed fine. The doctors said “You stabilized pretty quickly after your hospital stay.” Yet, I wasn’t thinking but I was also on Risperdal at the time, so that may very well have been the reason I did well. since going off  it seems my moods are a lot more variable and much more on extreme ends of the spectrum. A couple months ago I had a few rough days and that just spurred me into a depression so bad that I could barely face getting out of bed…I was drinking in the middle of the day…I was sitting around crying and cutting up my clothes and thinking about death. Because of just a couple rough days!!!

Then it went from that into this irritable, grouchy, hating everyone and everything mood, which I wasn’t depressed but just ambivalent. The last few days I’ve been feeling “up” and manic. Talking to people, dressing extremely, seeking a lot of attention, being flirty with people, which Tim got angry at me about. He seemed like “why are you acting this way?” But I really couldn’t help it. I didn’t go anywhere near doing all the things I felt like. I was so happy and excited, just out of the blue. I was so distracted but my own thoughts that I backed our Jeep into a telephone pole and scraped up the side of it bad. We had an argument last night and I thought “God my life sucks.” Now I am just sort of “there” today. I have barely spoken at all. I went walking but didn’t want to interact with a soul. My mind is plaguing me with all these thoughts. I hate it. I wish it would go away. I wish other people understood more, I wish I myself understood more. It is tiring being in a constant state of flux and confusion.

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