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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

I cried at group today

So I woke up today and I was feeling kind of antsy.  Still happy with the living room and my mind is spinning a bit with some other possible organizational ideas (but that means I have to spend some money which I really can't do at the moment).

And I had taken a few Stack-A-Shelf shelves from our room and my son's room to help in the living room and I noticed that my son had some hidden piles of garbage.

I went up there this morning and I decided to move his furniture so he couldn't have these stockpiles anymore and I was like a bit of a wildwoman, and when I saw just HOW MUCH CRAP was in his room, I freaked out!

He wasn't home yet from his dad's but I was yelling downstairs to MOH about how much I could not believe what it was like up there.

So I switched around the furniture and decided how I was going to talk to my son about it.

He got home before I went to group, he LOVED the living room so then I took him up to his room. He liked how I'd moved the furniture but he was shocked at all the junk and crap and he asked me, with all sincerity, where it came from and did not seem to believe me when I told him it was all from his room.

I tried to give him some very clear directions on what to work on while I was at group and when I got home, his mood was good but there was minimal actual progress because he had a hard time knowing where to start.

What I find bizarre is that when it comes to helping someone ELSE find a way to start, I am great at it but when it comes down to ME figuring out how to tackle a big job and start something and such, I am overwhelmed and completely LOST.


So I was talking about all this at group and about some of what my son and I spoke about re: bipolar and I just started crying - which I did not expect.

MOH had been saying on Sunday that I was just having one of my "episodes" and I insisted that I wasn't because I actually planned the living room change instead of just jumping in and starting it.

But with my son's room, I just jumped in and started.  And you know what?  I was doing that sort of thing back when I was in grade school.  I can remember periodically just moving around my bedroom furniture every couple of months.

And when I came home from group, I cried some more -- because I came to the conclusion that the only thing that makes me productive is this mental disorder.

So I feel down now.

le sigh

Monday, 30 July 2012

Exhausted today

MOH went for his assessment today. Dr. Calm suggested that MOH stop taking Cipralex and start something different, though I cannot recall the name of it at the moment.

I am fairly happy with the change to the living room.

I am feeling really wiped out today though.

Just doing that yesterday has me drained today and I have shaky hands today. That happens omce in awhile.

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Woke up with a jolt today

Feeling sick to my stomach, and really off-kilter but then I remembered that my PMS became my period just before I went to bed last night.

That reminds me - I need to check if I it's safe for me to take Tylenol or Advil with my meds.  Because my TOM always knocks the hell out of me.

I'm angrier today - though I have a legitimate reason for it so I am not going to get into it here since it has nothing to do with my diagnosis or anything MOH or I may suspect about his mental health (in theory I suppose it could but since I'm still letting him sleep in even though I've been up for well over an hour - I'm not getting into it here).

I've actually just been sitting here - looking at the living room and wishing I could figure out a way to move the furniture but my problem is, essentially, where our Bell cables come into the house/living room as I think that only gives us a limited space as to where we can place our furniture.

Now I'm not sure if I've said here before that when I get hypomanic (a term I am still getting used to) that one of the main things I like to do is move the living room furniture - but I'm pretty sure I am not hypomanic this time for ONE simple reason. 

When I am hypomanic (which before now, I thought of as "normal") I just start moving things without planning and might spend hours upon hours moving and then moving again and again.

There are two "issues" with our living room, the odd space by the window and the cut-out of danger.  Here, I'll try to show you in a floor plan photo and a very old living room photo... 

The cut-out of danger is to the right and plummets right to the entry

Whereas this morning, I have spent over an hour, just sitting here and thinking about it and considering my options and trying to think through potential road-blocks.

See the difference?

And that reminds me of something.  A friend asked me if this is blog reflects how I've always felt or how I've felt since I was diagnosed.

It reflects a chunk of how I've always felt WITHOUT all the self-recriminations because before I had a diagnosis I chalked a lot of how I felt up to human weakness/weakness of character, even though I did have my other diagnoses.

And, of course now I am also trying to incorporate the proper terminology for things whereas in the past I was always worrying and saying to my friends that I thought I was crazy and felt like I was crazy and the usual response was that "people who actually are crazy, never wonder if they are crazy."

You know, I should ask Dr. Calm about that...

Now, back to my living room dilemma.  I need to move things around so that my super-climbing toddler cannot access the cut-out of doom, somehow fit all the same furniture in here (and there's a lot) and figure out what to do with that stupid wasted space that we have covered with a drape and currently have a small toy cupboard in.


Saturday, 28 July 2012


After that last post I had one of those moments where I just crashed.

Before the meds I could hit a bunch of highs and lows all in one day or I could go weeks or months in a depressive state with an occasional 4 day high.

Yesterday I had a decent day. Overall emotionally neutral.

I felt rather apathetic when I woke up today. Had a bit of a headache. Went for the drive with my friend and my toddler. Came home. Wrote the other post. Started the silent crying.

Where your chest is tight and aching and your throat burns and the tears stream from the corners of your eyes while your stomach churns.

And the only feelings you can accurately define are shame, guilt and disappointment.

But that's for a two-tiered reason.

#1 - Because I feel like this shouldn't be my life/reality
#2 - Because I KNOW I am being too hard on myself and unfair to myself

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

1st attempt at emailing a post

So I am at home, just me and my shoe-lovin' sparkle-wearing, pink enthusiast. Watching season 1, part 1 of She-ra on DVD.

I went out with one of my BFFs today. Just for a quick drive and a chat.

Over the years, she has been one of the best people at getting me to leave the house, even if it's just been for a 5 minute drive to breathe the air outside after hiding out indoors after X amount of days.

At my very worst, she was great about getting my son to and from school because I could not bear to leave the house.

She goes grocery shopping with me so I don't freak out/ give up and go home because having that supportive friend with me really helps.

I actually just realized the other day that we met before my son turned 2.

That means we've known each other for over 8 years (since I think the kids were about 18 months when we met).

I just told her about this blog today. She has a lot of experience with people with bpd but although she knows of my recent diagnosis, I wasn't sure that might have any sort of impact on our friendship.

It's the same worry I have with all my closest friends (unless they have bpd - LOL!)

I know in the past on occasion when I vent that there have been times where I have said something followed by, "You know what I mean?" And have been met with a funny look and a slightly awkward, "No."

Then I'd brush it off and try to give a less odd example and try to make whatever I had tried to share/express sound more "normal."

And now I have completely lost my train of thought.  Crap.
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Friday, 27 July 2012

The white noise instead of the negative self-talk

How many of you understand this one?

Before I was on any medication - I had this constant stream of negative self-talk that often passed as general commentary on everything I did or thought and it would be in my head, rather than actually in my ears but yet I would hear it in my own voice.

Honestly, I thought that's how it was for everyone because that's how it was for me for as far back as I could remember.

It was also why I often would (and sometimes still do, though now it's out of habit) talk out loud to myself when I am thinking about something or doing something.

However; once I started talking the Cipralex it made a a huge impact on that and it was suddenly so strangely QUIET in my head that I felt like things had become surreal.

Now that I am fairly adjusted to my 20 mg/day I can assess the effect and say that it has taken away about 75% of all that "noise" - that commentary/negative talk and what I can best describe as something that feels like digital white noise. 

I still get it sometimes, and it's most noticeable when I first wake up or when I am trying to get to sleep but it's nowhere what it once was.

Sometimes, I still get a touch of the racing thoughts at night or when I wake up from a dream, or when I am startled by something during the day but again, it is vastly improved over where it was.

I did bring up with my psychiatrist - I'm going to call him Dr. Calm - the fact that I feel like the decrease in the anxiety has brought the depression to the forefront and made it worse, or made me feel the full impact of it because I am less distracted by the anxiety as I have been for all these years prior.

The only side effects I am noticing from my meds thus far are the dry mouth and the extra sensitivity to heat (ugh!)

Oh and I should note that the Wellbutrin is still 300 mg/day but the Topamax is 150/day now.

I added a number of bipolar-related blogs to read when I started this one because, like I said in my first post, I'm still really a bipolar newbie.

It's good for myself and MOH to do some reading on this.

At this rate, I'm never going to finish Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter...

Man of the House is In The House

I'm kind of at a loss right now about what to post. I have some concerns about some medical tests that I have to have done, I have concerns about my youngest having autism, or being bi-polar, or OCD, or ADD, or any combination of those. And I'm concerned about what my own diagnosis is going to be when I go to my Pysch appointment on Monday. On one hand it will be a relief to finally get a professional's opinion to finally put a "label" on this "thing" that has been plaguing me for years. But then comes the realization that I could be more fucked up than I originally thought. So, lots of thoughts in my head right now that I need to sort through.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

What do you think about online screening quizzes?

So, tonight I had MOH do 2 screening quizzes in preparation for his upcoming psychiatric assessment.

The screening quizzes were from 

One was for Adult ADD and this was the scoring key:
S C O R I N G   K E Y
If you scored...You may have...
70 & up
50 - 69
35 - 49
25 - 34
0 - 24
Adult ADHD
Moderate ADHD
Borderline ADHD
No ADHD likely

He did it without any input from me and scored over 70.

The other one was a bipolar screening test and he also did that one without my input and the scoring key was:
S C O R I N G   K E Y
If you scored...You may have...
51 & upBipolar disorder
- Serious symptoms
36 - 50 Bipolar disorder
- Moderate to severe symptoms
25 - 35 Bipolar disorder likely
16 - 24 Either bipolar disorder II or depressive disorder
10 - 15 Possible depressive disorder
0 - 9 No disorder likely
On that one he scored himself in the moderate to severe symptoms.  I am curious to see what he would score if I did it on my perceptions of his behaviour?

Should I?

Why do I even ask?

That reminds me of something and I'm not quite sure what the difference in our answers says about us but MOH and I were watching Dallas the other week (we haven't seen this week's yet so NO SPOILERS please).  Anyway, Bobby was offered information on his wife by her ex-husband and, although he was curious, he told her that he hoped someday she'd tell her himself and he threw the unopened envelope into the fireplace.

MOH asked me if we were in that situation, would I read what was in the envelope.  I answered instantly that yes, I would want to know and that it would drive me crazy to know that someone else knew something about him/our family that I didn't know because I always want to know the information.  Always.

And I was shocked, well, actually, surprise surprise, FLABBERGASTED when MOH told me that he wouldn't take the hypothetical envelope and would not actually want to know.

So, I do wonder what that says about us?

OK so I did the bipolar quiz on him and I scored him in the same range though 4 points higher than he scored himself.

On the ADHD one I scored him as how he comes across to me and well he scored 22 point higher than he did when he scored himself.  LOL!

MOH is not particularly impressed with me at this moment...


3rd times the charm?

This my 3rd attempt at trying to do a quick update but I've been having issues.

I had a guttural cry; MOH apologized and brought me a steeped tea & a chocolate chip muffin and I feel much improved.

What a wonderful morning (where the hell is the sarcasm font???)

MOH woke up a bit surly.  There was quite the storm last night, so we didn't get the best night's sleep ever.

Then there was the continuing drama of Little Big Planet II.  And just now, I am hearing, "Dad's a dumb-face.  I hate him!" And our 10-year-old is stomping around the house with the anger and misery that only an ASD child can.

There's head-butting and kicking and excessive name-calling from him.  He's calling us "stupid" and "murderers" and "liars".  He's spitting and choking himself and saying he can't calm down.  He can't sit.  He can't sit on the stairs.  He can't jump on his trampoline. He can't go in his room until he settles down. He can't sit with me. He can't stop talking. He can't do anything that I suggest he try to calm himself.

How much of this is ASD? How much of this is being a 10-year-old boy? Or is it that he has ADHD or ODD or freaking BPD???

This is the sort of thing that makes me want to swallow an entire bottle of pills - not to die, but to get away from all this for awhile.  To just escape.

I imagine this is where people decide to go to respite perhaps?

And right now as I type MOH is yelling at me.

Because, as I said last night, our house is full of hot tempers and sometimes - I just can't deal with it.

I'm sure in a few minutes, I'll be able to pull myself together enough that, to look at me, know one would ever suspect how often I feel this way inside but it just so happened that this all happened right now so you are getting a slice of the stuff I just joke away, as if I'm kidding.

But I'm not.

At this point in my life, I really don't want to DIE, but I do often just want to escape - into a coma so I don't have to face any of this, I don't have to deal with any of this and then maybe when I'd wake up, somehow, magically, things would be better.

Or I'd be stronger and it wouldn't hurt so much to try to keep everything together and make things better for everyone.

I know I need to work on myself and my journey but as a parent - I need to do all I can to help and support my kids with what they are going through, whether or not they welcome it or even understand it.

And as a spouse, I also need to do that for MOH but so often I feel like none of them really understand how much of my energy and focus I use for them because I love them.

And although I think respite would probably be a a saving grace for me -- how could I do it?

Do I think MOH could handle the kids without me for a week?

No way.

I spent most of Wednesday playing Twister with Fear


Every time I took a step in one direction, it blocked me.  One, slippery, inky, immoveable foot on red, a long, strong, arm on yellow, toppling me over, like a turtle on its back.  Unable to flip over and get its bearings.

MOH and I had a big talk with our young man today who had some legitimate questions about the upheaval that's been going on lately and that, for once, have not been focused on the emotional/neurological issues of himself or his older sister.

He actually timed me the other day.  As soon as I walked in the door from my peer support group, which was followed by a smaller peer social outing for a cool beverage of a non-alcoholic variety, my pride and joy looked at me as if I had broken curfew and said, in an affronted tone, "MOM!  Do you know you've been gone for exactly 4 hours and 15 minutes?!?!?!"

To which I replies, "No I didn't.  Thanks for telling me, honey."

Then I ruffled his hair and gave him a smooch on the forehead.  Apparently not the reaction he was looking for.

He was gearing for a fight.

Now if it's one thing the more verbal members of our family have in common is that we all seem to leap into verbal sparring in the blink of an eye.  We're yellers and interrupters and we all like to get the last word.

Oh, and I almost forgot.  Every single one of us is convinced that we are, without fail, almost always right.  (And you know that can't be the case since everyone should know that I am right at least 88% of the time!)

I was taking a break from my BPD 2 reading and reading about ADD/ADHD since I have been convinced, for years, that MOH has it - in part because our oldest girl has it and because in reading about it a few years ago so much of it sounded like him (granted, at the time I did say that a good portion sounded like me but I thought I was being some sort of hypochondriac or something) and, of course, along with my BPD 2 diagnosis, I was also diagnosed with ADHD.

So when I was doing this reading last night, I got very scared because I started to wonder if our young man, who already has an ASD diagnosis, might have a co-morbid case of ADHD that has gone undiagnosed.

And then I have to wonder - what does that mean for our not-so-little-one? The lover of pink, coins, shoes and animals?

So those were the fears I was wrapped up in today.

What in the world would it mean if EVERYONE in our family has some form of neurological disorder?

How could we survive as a family?

Would we self-destruct?

If we did, would it all be my fault because I took to many years to get some real help for my own issues?

Playing Twister with Fear, my friends.

And Fear is one nasty bitch of a player.

You know why?

Because she'll trip you, she'll push you and then she'll try to hold you down until you just give up.

But I don't feel like giving up right now.

Hopefully I will still feel that way tomorrow.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

moving to an uppercase letter

Just a quick note because tonight is one of those nights where I feel drained and exhausted.  So instead so staying up till 1 or 2 a.m. I am planning on going to bed after I click "publish" on this post.

I noticed when I sent an email off to a friend tonight that I signed it with the short form of my name and I signed it with an uppercase letter at the beginning of my name.

That might seem normal or commonplace but it's very strange to me and even, surprising.  Dare I say even out-of-character.

For years and years I have signed my emails (for my blog's sake just pretend my legal first name is actually Flabbergasted) with an "f."

Or "flab."

When it's been something legal or regarding my children, then, of course, it's been "Flabbergasted Mom."

Yet for friends and family, it's always been "flab" or "f" so noticing that I signed "Flab" this time seemed blogworthy.

There is some significance to that.  Probably related to my sense or self or self-worth but I am too tired to start debating that at the moment.

Just thought I would put it out there.

Good night.

The secret shame - uncleanliness

I feel like I need musical accompaniment here.  DUN DUN DA!!!!

Imagine it, a silent movie, a man with a black hat and a curlicue mustache, laughing menacingly as, instead of tying the damsel in distress to the train tracks, he carries her towards a house.

The card with the text appears: "And now, you'll see that I have destroyed you in a way worse than death.  Everyone you know is in your house right now."

Cut to the woman, flailing in his arms and obviously extremely upset.

Another text card: "No, people can never come in uninvited.  They can never know how bad it gets!"

End scene

I actually discussed this with a friend who has similar challenges.  And it made me think of other people that I know with various mood disorders.

Some people with mood disorders have issues keeping their homes tidy and organized, some get to the point where they let their personal care slide and some have a combination of the two.

I have experienced this myself.  MOH (Man of the House) and I both have a hard time keeping the clutter down and the dishes done.

When I get really down, I stop having baths and switch to showers.  I know that doesn't sound as severe as people who may stop cleaning themselves altogether but it's huge for me because I take great pleasure in having a bath.

It's peaceful (except for the kids coming in to talk to me. my friends phoning me, MOH coming in to ask me to tell the kids to do what he says... you get the picture)

But I will tell you this.

I *HATE* living like this.

Yet I feel powerless to change it.  We have too many things for too small a space.  We suck at organizatioin, and when things are out-of-sight they become out-of-mind and suddenly I am not paying bills on time and we end up over-spending because the budget goes out the window because I lose all sense of what's going on because nothing is right in front of me.

Have I mentioned that I was also diagnosed ADHD along with the type 2 bipolar diagnosis?  I've read up on ADHD because one of our kids has it (maybe all 3 - who knows?) but I haven't really read up on adult ADHD beyond what I've read that convinced me that MOH has it... so imagine my surprise that I got diagnosed with it.

And since MOH has been battling depression since before I met him, can you guess what I am worried about now?

Did you guess?

I'm worried that he could be bipolar as well.

Anyway,  I need to go.  I need to eat and get dressed because I have group therapy this afternoon and I really look forward to it.

Monday, 23 July 2012

I'm out-of-sorts today

I'm not quite sure what's going on with me today.

I feel like I had a great appointment with my psychiatrist today and I was able to open up with him a bit more. I explained a bit more of how I try to schedule my life.

I tend to schedule two really busy days with necessary (or fun) outings and/or appointments and then maybe a half day on a Monday and a half day on a Saturday (for fun) and the rest of the time I spend hiding out in my house, re-charging and gearing up for the next chunk of running around I am going to be doing.

I told him about the horrible flashback I had on Tuesday afternoon which then triggered a panic attack.

We talked a little about what I think I would like to eventually do re: continuing my education and looking at a career once I am in a better headspace since I have no interest in returning to what I used to do.

And we also spoke about my medication and the Topamax is being increased again.

I came home, was extremely over-heated which is never good for my mood plus it is one of the things that is worse on my meds on top of it all.

Started getting stressed and miserable re: some other things that I heard about once I got home.  More things that I have no control over and just make me angry primarily and the other emotions spring from the anger.

I think I am going to go soak in the tub and start reading "Mind Over Mood."

I really need to start a reading list and get some recommendations.

All I've been craving today is junk food, but I am also PMSing so that's probably to be expected.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Why is outside validation (aka sexual attraction) so important?

You know how when you are a child and you are being viciously bullied and abused in a variety of ways by other children?

You don't?      Seriously?

Oh sorry, I guess that was just me...


OK, anyway -- you know how you go home crying, bruised and bleeding, spitting dirt out of your mouth, snot dripping from your nose and telling your parents that the other kids are really, really mean and nobody likes you?

And then your Mom or your Dad or whomever your caregiver is usually tells you that the boy (or those boys) are just mean to you because they like you and that the girl (or girls) are just mean to you because they are jealous that the boy(s) like you.

*Note: if none of this sounds familiar to you, then my childhood is even more messed up than I previously thought!

So then your caregiver tells you that they like you. And you sniffle and wipe away a mixture of tears, snot and dirt and say with disdain and distrust, " You have to say that, because you're my Mom/Dad/caregiver/Grandma!" etc...

With a sigh, you are told to go clean yourself up and are promised a treat when you come back out.  It might be a toy, a book, a trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream, or maybe Mom will bake some cookies or it'll be your favourite meal for dinner that night.

As you get older, you see how the people who are perceived to be attractive are treated versus how the other people are treated and if you live in the same town and go to school with many of the same people your entire life, you tend to be pigeon-holed as who they decided you were in kindergarten.

Despite wanting to be liked, I never went out of my way to fit in.  I was just myself, though often quieter.  Once I first learned the term, I considered myself a non-conformist.

But all that did not stop me from wanting men, even men I hated, from finding me physically attractive.

Even if it was something rude, or gross, or wildly inappropriate, I'd still get an inner charge when I'd hear someone say something about me being attractive, or "doable" because even though most of the time I felt like I was from a different planet -- those sort of comments made me feel like I had some sort of secret or super power.

When I feel really low, I am prone to a bit of retail therapy and then I dress up, go out with my friends and if I get hit on, especially by strangers - I get such a charge, such a rush from it that it's like the best high in the world without doing anything illegal.

Of course, when I was single, that sort of thing resulted in a lot of reckless sexual encounters and one night stands (sometimes longer when I found the men harder to get rid of than anticipated).

And even now, I am happily (most of the time) married to a very affectionate man and have 3 wonderful kids but last night I came home just flying high on all the positive attention I received when I was out with my friends last night.

I did NOT get drunk.

I just had a really fun night.

Though I forgot to take my night pill.

Hopefully that doesn't mess with my too much today.

So, why is that external validation so important?  I got hit on by a few younger men.  One of my former lovers was very flirty and even asked if my husband and I might be interested in a third.

I felt beautiful and sexy and desirable last night.

It was a nice change because I really hate my body from the stomach down and often fantasize about slicing my stomach fat off and throwing it in the trash.

The strike-over, I think that is my plan for when I write things that might be a bit too scary to write.  I won't delete the words, but I'll do that in case I ever do pick up any readers so you know that I panicked immediately after writing those words.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

I'm a bipolar newbie

So yeah, it may sound completely silly but honestly, even though I've got a number of friends who have bipolar disorder, some who I've known (and have also known of their diagnosis) for years - getting this diagnosis for myself is like going from heavy petting with a cute guy to suddenly being a single mom of a baby with colic in the blink of an eye.

I'm overwhelmed, I'm unprepared, I knew what was going on before and could pretty much control that (switch heavy petting with living with depression, anxiety, panic & PTSD -- which, fyi is nowhere near as pleasurable as heavy petting BUT makes your heart race more, at least in my experience...) but now I don't know whether or not to cry, scream, run away, throw things or do all of them in various moments and then eat some comfort food.

I received my diagnosis less than a month ago, so when I say newbie, I really mean it.  I am not shining you on here.

We're trying medication.

Right now my daily medications are: Cipralex 20 mg, Wellbutrin 300 mg & Topamax 50 mg (I think the Topamax is supposed to increase to 100 mg daily, but I will double-check with my psychiatrist at my next appointment).

I also have been attending peer-led group therapy which I really enjoy and I am looking into some other therapy as well and have been diving into some reading as well.

But it's hard to assimilate all this information and to deal with all these emotions I am having.

See, I've always been what people would call "sensitive" or "over-wrought" or even "overly-emotional."  Also "hyper" was a word I often heard in childhood.

So to combat that, as I grew older, I decided it would be helpful to be more analytical and it did help, although it also created a separation between my feelings and reality to some extent.  A bit of a distance, or a bit of protection.  I guess it depends on who is looking at it and from what perspective, right?

Looking at it that way, this should be no different to me than any other label or diagnosis.  I don't feel any differently about any of my BPD friends. And yet, I'm having a hell of a tough time dealing right now.


I think if we get down to brass tacks, it is mainly because of my kids.  What does it mean to them?  Do they have it?  I am really worried that my husband's major depression may actually be BPD as well, mainly because the anti-depressants don't seem to be doing much for him at all.

And if we both have it???

Is our family right and royally screwed?

It makes me afraid.

And it's all out of my control.

I'd really like to drink myself silly tonight.  My psychiatrist says that doing that is my way of self-medicating.  He says that I shouldn't do it.  Some of my BPD friends agree that I shouldn't do it, especially because of the medications I am on.

So is it the BPD that makes me want to defy them or is it leftover teenage rebelliousness that I didn't use up back when I was a teenager?

Wish me well (even though I know no one is reading this because I just created it).