Where I’ve Been…

Well, I’ve been absent here again for a while. But I do have good reasons for it. I’ve been in treatment. First, I was an inpatient for a few days and now, I am in partial hospitalization treatment. I have a lot to say about both of these experiences (both firsts for me), but it will take me time to gather all of my feelings and thoughts about it, especially since I am still currently in treatment. All I can say for the moment is that I hope it helps me in the long run. And I hope that I can get my symptoms under control with medications and with coping strategies. Anyway, I will be back with new pieces soon. Thanks, as always, for reading.


A Relatively Good Day and Then a Bad Day

Yesterday was a relatively good day for me. I didn’t spend the whole day sitting in front of the computer trying in vain to get my writing assignments done for the day. I was out and about doing things and interacting with people. I went grocery shopping, I went to visit with family, and I went to my little cousin’s volleyball game. Then, I had a family dinner and TV watching (Fear the Walking Dead).

It was a full and busy day for me. And for most of the day, I was feeling up. I even had a moment of near euphoria thinking about all of the possibilities for my future and how I was most definitely going to achieve it. But, when it came to trying to get writing done, I was not on top of things and it started to bring me down by the end of the day.

Then, I wake up today and I can’t get going in the morning. I took my dog out and fed him, and went back to bed. It was almost noon by the time I finally drug myself out of bed to get coffee and try to start my day. And then, I have spent the rest of the day (it’s 3:30pm now) trying to get a single article written. I have managed to get around 500 words done. In comparison to good days, this is just horrible. I can write 400 word articles in 15 minutes or less when I am up and things just click.

Today, there is no clicking. I feel as though I am trying to form words through molasses. Everything feels heavy and weighed down with apathy and sadness. I am so tired and down. I have had more caffeine than I usually would at this time, and still I cannot get things flowing. Days like this just make me want to throw in the towel on work and on life. It is so difficult to try to work through this exhaustion and this brain fog. It is actually painful. I have given myself a headache trying to work today.

I wish I could adequately describe what this depression feels like and why it is so frustrating to feel so good sometimes and then feel so horrible 24-hours or less later. The good news I got today was that I am going to finally be able to change meds again and try to get this bipolar depression under control. I hope that I am finally going to find the med combination that will help me find a middle ground and just feel good for a while.

So, at least through all of the struggles today, there is a glimmer of hope in the darkness. It isn’t enough to swing the mood pendulum the other way, but logically, I can recognize that changing meds is a step in the right direction even if I cannot muster up any happiness or excitement about it.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Thanks for reading, as always!


Is It a Mixed Episode?

For those of you that follow my blog, you know that I have been very depressed lately. But I am beginning to wonder if I am possibly experiencing a mixed episode. I am decidedly depressed. I sleep for 12 or more hours a day, but the sleep is restless and I wake up several times a night (sometimes every hour or more). I toss and turn and have extremely vivid dreams.

I also have trouble falling asleep because of my racing, random thoughts. I am either obsessing over something I am worried about (finances, etc…) or my mind is just frantically going through an array of topics that I can’t even recall right now. Sometimes during the day, I have periods of time where I just cannot sit still and just pace around in my apartment aimlessly.

I think that I might be in a mixed episode because I have all of these symptoms and have occasional parts of the day where I’m inexplicably “up.” I am just so confused and frustrated. I haven’t been able to get much if any work done and I just feel like giving up on life sometimes (yes, I know, that is serious and I am seeing my care team regularly). Today, I barely got one article done for work and I had to strain to do that. It is another bad day in a string of mostly bad days. And I have to wonder if this will ever get better.

Depression Kicked Me in the Teeth

I have been in the depths of a serious depressive episode lately and the weight just does not seem to be lifting. I have managed to get myself out of bed in recent days, but usually that means making it to the couch. If I can accomplish little things like unloading the dishwasher, it feels like a major feat.

Feeling this way makes getting anything done feel impossible and working a far-fetched dream. I work from home as a freelance writer and part-time at a church, and when I am down like this, the writing feels especially impossible. It is like my brain won’t focus on the words and coming up with ideas for blog posts? Forget about it. The creative juices just aren’t flowing.

So, I sit and worry about money and my finances and how I can pay my bills when I am not getting any work done. I sit and feel guilty about not getting things done that I should be able to do. I fret and give myself panic attacks which further drain my energy and leave me bedridden yet again.

When I feel this way, the only thing I look forward to is sleeping. Sleeping is my escape from the hatred I feel for myself and the emptiness in my soul. I can dream and live in a fantasy world for 8 hours (okay, let’s face it more like 12 to 16 hours when I’m depressed).

Looking forward to only sleep is not a way to live, I know. And even when I am feeling that way, I know that. But, then I begin to question what the point of life is anyway. What purpose does my life serve? What good am I, anyway? And then, there I go, down the track toward suicidal thoughts just like that.

Depression really does kick you in the teeth and will hit you when you are down. Sometimes, you go so far down that you can’t imagine getting back up. That is about where I am now, wondering if this is ever going to change and if I will ever have an “up” period again.

That’s all I have for now as I have exhausted all the words I have in me for today. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Working with Bipolar…

So, I got a job recently. I just started, in fact. But I have been out of the standard 9 to 5 job market for a long time and am struggling to acclimate to it. And it doesn’t help that I have been going through a rough time and have been in the hospital twice in the last week for suicidal thoughts (more on that another time).

Here’s the deal. I want to support myself. I want to be a productive member of society and I want to be successful. But stressful and hectic work environments exhaust me. I also nearly break into tears at work and have trouble keeping track of what I am doing. I got so dizzy today at one point, I thought I would pass out.

My question to those of you with bipolar is this. Is working a standard 9 to 5 job feasible for someone with bipolar? Is a hectic work environment a bad idea? Is part-time work better? I have a shaky job history at best so I am lucky to have this job but I just wonder if it is a good fit for me.

Any one else with a mental health disorder have any thoughts? Any ideas that can help me out? As always, thanks so much for reading!

Job Hunting with Bipolar

Well folks, I have been pretty busy as of late dealing with some issues on the home front. Because of that, I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like. One of those many issues I have been dealing with lately is searching for a job. This is the first time I have looked for a job since my bipolar diagnosis and I think it has made my job search a bit more difficult for me.

I do not hide the fact that I have bipolar online. There are references to it and this blog on my Facebook pages and Twitter and I do not feel that my bipolar disorder is something to hide or be ashamed of. However, I have been struggling to find work lately and I think a big part of that is the fact that I have this mental health condition.

I know that employers look at social media when checking out potential job candidates and I have a sinking feeling that the openness I have online may be causing me trouble. Of course, I have no proof of that or I would have a legal case on my hands, but I have to wonder.

I also never know when I apply for a job if I should check the box that says I have a disability or not. It says in plain letters that bipolar is one of the disabilities but at the same time, I do not feel disabled by my condition. I do feel that being undiagnosed in the past led me to have a poor job history and left me bouncing from job to job like a ping pong ball, but I don’t know about being officially disabled.

Perhaps my recent job seeking challenges lie in the fact that I have been a freelance writer for the last 4 + years? Maybe, that is not looked kindly upon? Whatever the reason, I have been struggling lately to find any meaningful gainful employment that can help me with some current issues I have been trying to deal with. So, for now its continuing to apply and interview as well as work my butt off freelancing in hopes that things will improve going forward.

Anyone else experience these job search issues? Any tips or advice or opinions? Leave a comment if you would like to share!

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When a Depressive Episode Hits Unexpectedly

Depressive episodes almost always hit me out of nowhere. I still have trouble identifying all of my triggers and it seems like when bad things happen in my life, I get down and depressed. And I don’t realize that I am sinking into a depression until all of my energy is sapped and I can barely function.

Then, the real trouble begins. I can barely get any work done, my limbs feel heavy, and all I can do is sit or lay and stare at the TV or at the wall. That is where I am now. Even as I write this, I am so tired it feels like I am struggling to pull the words out of my mind and place them here.

I sit and stare at the screen, trying to figure out what to say. And then, if I think of something, by the time I put my fingers to the keyboard, I lose it most of the time. I stop in the middle of sentences, in the middle of thoughts. And I just…can’t…function. But I keep trying. Which is more than I can say I’ve done in the past. I may not be writing my articles for work, but I am writing here, which is a step in the right direction, I guess.

Hopefully this depressive episode will not last as long as they usually do, and I will be able to get my work done soon. But I suppose only time will tell and I just have to keep fighting even though I’m exhausted.