The thought "I don't want to do this anymore" has been plaguing me. As is my nature, I googled it and this page came up in my search results. Mortified as I was thinking that Google has somehow gained access to my thoughts, I registered.
I am at this very awful space in my life. I have an anxiety disorder, a strange kind because it manifests itself as physical ailments. Because I am constantly sick and my doctors (yes, plural) cannot find a cause for it, I have been labeled a hypochondriac. I have a touch of OCD and when I was younger I was able to channel my compulsions into my academics. However, of late it has impacted on my life, or so Doctor no. 2 says. I am admittedly obsessed with my health so I am in and out of consultation rooms and I am aaaalways googling my symptoms. It does scare me because I cannot focus on much else and I often cry about not being healthy. Doctor no. 1 says I am fine and everything's just a little scratch to him but he always gives me the strongest prescription meds that convinces me I have a life-threatening disease (Viremia being one of them) and I am convinced he is on a mission to misdiagnose me! One day he was not there and I saw Doc no. 1.2, which is what led to my anxiety disorder diagnosis and I bucked it up to she did not like me and she did not understand my actual medical condition. Anyway, that's where Doctor no. 2 comes in, in all her broad spectrum anti-biotic glory. I like her the most. But I liked her too much and I sought a more objective opinion, needless to say that did not go too well as I was kicked out of Doctor no. 3's exam room, crying, after yelling at her doc and begging for tests, adamant that I was dying. She nonchalantly called me crazy, paranoid, obsessive and said that it is really all in my head. Seriously! I took offense, cried some more and then took her advice to chill. Not long after that I was too chilled and I had more symptoms, repeated visits to Doctors 1 and 2, in between constant peeing in cups (eeuw, I know but I really can't help it), changing my diet, new exercise regimes, copious amounts of meds and bleh.
Doctor no. 2, bless her beautiful soul, after seeing me just over a week ago, extended a comforting hand and referred me to a psychologist. She so lost points there because I am not crazy. She said that I have an anxiety disorder (confirmation as I keep my other docs a secret so that she doesn't think I'm cheating on her) that is affecting my quality of life and it will hamper my ability to hold down a job one day... oh and she mentioned something about a Somatoform Disorder (another disease, right?? And I say "another" because I have had every cancer in the book: ovarian, secondary from my bladder cancer. Then my colon, liver, pancreas, ghost pregnancies. I am convinced I have Diabetes [next appointment's woes]. Worst is that now I am convinced I have a fungal infection in my blood and that I am poisoned so everything is going cuckoo. I say "convinced" because my doctors don't believe me despite me having symptoms... thus the Somatoform disorder). So the psych appointment... I do not like psychologists. I think they are stupid. I have had 2 before: I manipulated my way out of the one and said whatever the other wanted to hear to convince her I was 'better". I may be a bit arrogant because I have psych students as friends (although I love them I will neeever approach them for help professionally). I may also be awfully terrified of a concrete diagnosis and living a life on medication. Ironic, right? What with all my trips to the doc. Wrong, I hate being on medication and I only take it to be healthy.
As a teenager, I started struggled with eating disorders. I went to boarding school and I was put on eating watch. However annoying that was, I am forever indebted to my teacher for forcing me to eat and watching me do it. Ironically, I was bulimic, so it did not quell the problem; it helped though. I would like to think of myself as recovered although I forget to eat. I have reminders on my phone so that I eat or else I won't. I am not bulimic anymore but sometimes I forget that too and I slip up for a week or so. I am aware of it so I realize it is a dangerous path and I reach out for some sanity and any means to stop. I am proud to be able to control that compulsion now. Previously I was unable to but I am better and stronger, thank you! People always misunderstand and try to make you feel better by saying you are so pretty there's nothing wrong with you (very few people know about my eating disorders and I haven't told anyone so this is a general and hypothetical "everyone") but they do not get it. It's really not about them, you physically cannot stand ingesting food, the thought repulses you, you feel horrible about it and you know that you're not that bad looking but you sill feel like you're hideous, you want to believe them but you can't help being bulimic.
Anyway, my bulimia coincided with a mountain of depression and feeling like I was living a double life. I had this whole pretense of being ridiculously happy, A-student, great friends... but I was miserable. I used to write and I realized I sucked at that because it was filled with perfectly phrased pain so I stopped doing that. I felt as if I was bleeding onto the pages, an outlet, somewhere, anywhere but inside me. And that's what led me to cutting myself. When I look back I wish I could tell old me that it will get better. I always feel that when I look at my watch because I wear it to hide my scars and not to look at the time. I still struggle with this one. The desire to do this is overwhelming. As I grew older I have learned to control the desire. The worst part is that it arises on two occasions: when the world is too much inside and when the outside world is too much with me; when I need to focus and when I cannot. At first it was because I was so awfully sad and that I needed some release. However, it later, too, became about how impossible it was for me to concentrate and how everything was a distraction; how everything was happening around me and how I needed to ground myself. I still struggle with this one.
I was placed on suicide watch, after my very observant teachers suspended me pending a psychological evaluation. I was a little out of control at the time and admittedly very suicidal. I wrote under the name "wretched" (no capital) and wretched decided to write a suicide note instead of an exam. No-one got hold of it but it raised flags because I was a top student (rolls eyes). I had no actual regard for my academics after that, it was a sort of liberation from the compulsion of having to achieve. I was blessed with an intelligent mind, my biggest curse though. I realized this when I still achieved well without any effort. Ever heard of those people who are so smart they are crazy? Well... I said I am not crazy.
University life was horrible. I stopped being naive in university. It feels like I lost all my goodness during this time. Or maybe it just feels like that today. Yeah, it comes and goes. Right now, it is gone. My mother, bless her good heart, will tell you of my ridiculous moods and how I react with so much hostility to those who love me. My exes, bless their patient and kind natures, will tell you that they'd rather die than be in love with me, that they've never felt so much love and hate at the same time. My lecturers, who have blessed me with knowledge, will tell you that I have an amazing mind, if only I was more consistent and the fire didn't come and go. My friends, the blessings that each of them are, will tell you I am weird, crazy, a good friend when I'm not being a bad friend, I'll be MIA for months and come back as if nothing happened. My sister does not know me. I feel that about most people though but she really doesn't.
She bought me a book (I love reading and will devour anything, almost. The book was An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison - read it). She got it for me because my boyfriend at the time was diagnosed with Bipolar II. I never read the book until a three months after the break up. I was mortified. I did lots of research on the topic because of him and I wanted to be a supportive girlfriend. Well that backfired when he told me that he doesn't think he has BP and that he actually just thinks he's in a bipolar relationship. Yeah, that rel did not go well. He, bless his future, has sought help and I hope he finds happiness. Because of him, I read so many forums and webpages, obviously. I had so much information on the topic and it took me forever to realize that maybe I was so interested because It was so close to home. After a while I thought this is just ridiculous because I am convincing myself I have something again but I checked every box, like the people on there were writing about me. I was scared. But not crazy.
I thought that maybe I was just excited for holidays and stuff until I realized that I didn't recognize myself after my Decembers. I waited anxiously for the arrival of the new year so that it could stop. This year it did not quite stop. It happened in June as well. Like my body was taken over by some crazy person who just wanted to party and drink (oh yeah, I have a bit of a problem with alcohol); I went out ALL the time, I did not speak to anyone that prevented me from jumping off the walls especially if they told me that they were worried; my mother would stop speaking to me because I had no regard for anything or anyone but myself and what I wanted to do (maybe I'm just selfish); I literally got myself into soooo much debt and it is a running joke that I need to pay my credit cards, I can't; I hooked up with people I should not have, as if I just could not say no; absolutely nothing mattered to me and I was so (insert swear word here) happy. Until I started feeling that I successfully alienated the people around me and that I couldn't identify with myself. I literally felt like I was living so fast that I was living past myself. My mind was fuzzy and I couldn't focus on anything anymore like there was so much going on that nothing was going on. I had such a lot going on in my head, I was seeing things (which previously was normal and I always thought I was just tired and that lights usually move and that there were always shadows) and the I just broke down. Usher in the paranoia, the paralyzing with a splash of unbearable fear paranoia and the thoughts of judgment and the self-abhoration. I can't really complain about the sleep issues because I am an insomniac, regardless of my mood but when it's horrible and the world is dark and being awake is a burden or just being ridiculously tired when you wake up (chronic fatigue - ding ding ding symptom); it's impossible to live in that mind or to co-exist with a mind like that. Yet again, I do not identify with that me. Ironically, that's me most times. It is as if you need to not be in the same head space, so you sleep or you drink so much alcohol that you can't process it anymore and it still doesn't feel like enough. It is like sitting in a company of friends and not hearing anything but your heart beating; being there but being somewhere so dark and hollow that you can't even cry; it's like being unable to get out of bed so you deserve a gold star for getting into a bath but then you lie there for hours unable to move, unable to cry, unable to feel, unable to care about anything but the sound of your heartbeat. It is like it mocks you because you feel so far from alive. And then the sky moves and the shadows appear and you feel as if you really just want to die. You don't want to do this anymore, you simply don't want to live anymore. You know you're not suicidal but you sincerely want to cease existing. I cannot ever convey this in any manner that remotely resembles the reality thereof. So, depression, okay and being me, and in denial as Doctor no. 2 says, I chalked it up to being a side-effect of my meds.
This brings me to the psych appointment. Firstly, I did NOT go. I made the appointment after promising Doc no. 2 that I would. I promised the making of the appointment not the going to it. I was so conflicted that morning. Firstly, after a few days of feeling like there was nothing inside me and not even wanting to cut to check (mocking myself here), I start crying the night before and I mean crying. I never stopped. I looked at my fb page and cried, my tea made me cry. I woke up crying before I was even awake (maybe that's because my dreams are painful and real and like visions)! It was so frustrating because I wasn't feeling sad, I just could not stop crying! Talking was an effort, answering my phone was an effort all of which made me cry, the only effortless thing there was. So I canceled the stupid appointment because I just couldn't stop crying. My intention was to go in there and tell Psych no. 1 (the others don't count) that I needed help with my anxiety and I don't think looking like I was pummeled was going to make her think nothing was wrong. What was I going to tell her? I knew I was going in with the intention of wasting her time because I was going to be chirpy and lusting-after-lifey. That's a lie. I feel cowardice for not going but I really sincerely feel as if I will be a waste of her time. I think I wanted to go or I really hope I would want to go.
I am out of control. I am so alone. All I have is this annoying all-consuming paranoia.
I really don't want to be too much, too much of anything... but the world, the world is too much with us.
Today, I just feel like I have absolutely no desire to live. I realize that I will be alive tomorrow though. Today, that realization is slightly disappointing. I realize that it might be better in the morning.
You sound very intelligent and must know that most of the things we worry about never happen anyway. Maybe depression has kept you from accepting what you know. I hope you do talk to someone. You are very worth it.
I am the same way (bi-polar) and it is very frustrating. Acceptance is really all I can offer. Everything you just felt and feel is true. Now what? You're weird and crazy, smart and stupid, your mind moves in strange directions and very few people can relate. This is the reality of our circumstance. All you can do is accept this, and try not to feel guilty about it. I feel so guilty that I am not like everyone else. That I can't just be normal. But I am what I am what I am. When you are in a crazy phase recognize it, don't fight it and accept it for what it is.
Avoid triggers, people, places situations that put you in a mood. And when you get in one, don't worry about it. That only makes it worse. Don't fight it, feel it. Go with it. So you only wan't to sit and do nothing. Just sit and do nothing and don't feel bad about it. Find a job that has a flexible schedule. Something that gives you the freedom to be who you are. Otherwise you'll probably be miserable forever.
I feel like most doctors say "your bi-polar now here are things we can do to fight this issue". Instead of saying you are bi-polar, it's okay being bi-polar. You're fine. You just run differently than some people. Everyone is always trying to fix us, as if being bi-polar is some sort of crime. There are a lot of limitations to being bi-polar your are not going to have the life you may have imagined or others have imagined for you. The "normal" idea of life is out the window. But you can be happy, you can have wonderful relationships. You can feel good about who you are.
I was bulimic as well. I am not anymore. Why? It's about accepting your flaws. I have PCOS and my body makes me feel like I am turning into a man. Small boobs, hair growing in spots usually reserved for men, no hips. My body is designed to show that I cannot have children; do not reproduce with me. I wanted to be perfect so badly I made myself sick. I got married to a good looking man, which at first was helpful for my ego, but then made me feel horrible again. He was so good looking and I am so not. He said I love you anyways flaws and all. AND MEANT IT. I accept you for who you are and what you look like and I love you. It's not as if he was trying to pretend I am something I am not, he was saying yeah you are flawed but that's okay. Unconditional love and support is hard to find. Try giving it to yourself.
Be healthy, healthy is beautiful. I mainly eat a Paleo diet, though I don't follow it perfectly. It makes me feel well and gives me more energy. I find that when I stray off my diet, I have a tendency to fall into a depressive state.
REDUCE STRESS!!! I CANNOT..well stress THIS ENOUGH! Stressful people, stressful jobs, stressful places. This is not easy in our world. WHICH IS CONSUMED in stress. When you are in a stressful place acknowledge it. This is going to be stressful for me. I need to breathe and let go and try to relax.
Music and meditation. I love having my headphones one when I am in a down spiral it can really help transform my mood. I can feel my environment and putting myself in a good one transforms my own attitude. Music is a quick fix sometimes.
Honestly though, your life will probably always be hard. Like mine. It's going to be difficult, that's just the way it is.
Disclaimer: Having an awfully crazy week. Not responsible for the terrible grammar and discord.
Number one factor: STRESS!
Thank you for your kind words, Nasepehri.
It's very frustrating when people say "I know how you feel" when they really have absolutely no idea. The only people who know what it's truly like are others with BP (maybe their loved ones) and even then, it is different for us all. I'm not very open about my diagnosis because everyone... doctors, friends, everyone... just kind of treats you as if you're broken; like they just want to stuff you full of meds so that you can be "normal". It is very frustrating.
I've had about 4.5 hours of sleep in 4 days. I have something to submit for my thesis and I cannot find it in me to sleep or to get to working or get to writing something that is worth what I am studying toward. I am probably going to think it was so embarrassing to have used a cloth metaphor for academic work but oh well let's hope they see past that... very stressed about that because I've been somewhat manic for the past year and I thought I was hyper-aware of my moods so I was doing fine but I had no idea that I was manic until everyone around me started thinking I was on drugs - and not the prescription kind. My life looks like I'm on drugs at the moment so I'm a little out of control. I didn't even know. I just thought I was having a very good year. Until I was ridiculously poor, near unemployed (still a possibility), failing my masters because of the lack of and then quality of work I was producing: thinking my ideas are geniuses waiting to be born but then realizing it's a whole not of nonsense, literally - NO SENSE. But anyway that coupled with anxiety, panic attacks, hallucinations, insomnia, mixed moods (swear words jeez), robbery (of me not by me), a new relationship (doubting because hey what if it was just mania and this isn't as great as it feels?), hospitalization, the works... actually made for a very eventful year, and not in a good way.
I think it is difficult to accept it though and to a large extent I don't believe it. I'm sure it's true for you too or so I've gathered, because I've always been this and I've never known any other kind of normal I struggle to be receptive to treatment. I feel as if I'm a little incoherent and all over the place but forgive me, sitting here typing this is probably the only thing I've been able to do today that didn't involve jumping around being delirious and "looking like I'm on drugs". I'm a bit restless and in fact my head is still all over the place too. As I said 4.5 hours over 4 days - and not even averaging one hour a day sigh it was the first first of the four days. Yes, I've been awake for three days straight. Still haven't even yawned.
It might have something to do with my meds though but I'll post something about that, somewhere else.
I feel as if I should apologize for venting haha but I thought you're probably more grateful that you don't have to be around me right now. I'm just talking a lot so it's tough not to type a lot too.
I am very appreciative that you took the time to comment on this. I saw your comment and I could see the sincerity in your words. It is very difficult because you have absolutely no control over your mind and your life. I am stubborn and horrible at times and I'm not sure why the bit on guilt made me think. It's always after it all that it happens... I know BP is not an excuse but it is very often the cause of certain behaviours but people don't get that and you can't blame them so it's very easy to feel guilty - especially for who you are.
I'm just reading your bit on happiness and it made me smile. I feel like I wake up in the morning and I'm just me and I have a broken brain and I am crazy and fat and I have dark circles and my hair's bad and I forgot to shave my legs and then I look at this gorgeous man who loves me and who tells me that every day and either I think he's mocking me, he's lying, I don't believe him, I think he's in love with someone else and we're just friends... but that's in my head. The reality is different. In fact, you're wonderful and someone loves you and all of you and all of who you are, crazy and all. I live with those two realities because I can never be the "you" in the real reality because I am always the me in my world. It is tough but sometimes it's good, so good... I am glad you have found happiness. You are beautiful. Reading your comment made me sit down and concentrate for a bit, something I haven't done in 10 hours. So thank you. For your words, for your time, for your experience. I haven't seen you, but I'm sure you're far more gorgeous than you think you are.