Summer Sundays

It is way too hot right now, 93 degrees to be exact, but it has to feel like 105, especially in the apartment. I had a very uncomfortable manic episode yesterday, which is why I didn’t post yesterday. I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t even write. I can usually write through whatever I’m feeling, but not yesterday.

I got manic because I didn’t sleep on Friday night, which will always trigger a manic episode for me, and that’s not an overstatement. Of course other things will trigger mania for me, but lack of sleep will do it no matter what. The music festival was a lot of fun, but I got so worked up, I couldn’t sleep. Which meant mania the next morning. It didn’t help that I hadn’t picked up my meds the day before, so the abilify, which usually keeps the mania in check, wasn’t in my system. So I took the other medication I’m supposed to take when I feel manic, and it stopped the mania from getting worse, but it left me with an insanely uncomfortable feeling. The type of feeling where, you’re on edge, and nothing can help you come down from it. I find it to be one of the worst feelings. Towards the end of the night I told my boyfriend that, I didn’t want to feel anymore. Which is when he told me I needed to rest, like take away all the visual stimulation, put on a book, close my eyes, and just rest. Which I did, and it kind of helped, well enough to get me through the rest of the night.

This morning was a little better, but it was hot in the living room. When I wake up first, which is pretty much always, I go in the living room to do whatever until he wakes up. The air conditioning is in the bed room though, so all I had were fans. Needless to say, I just snoozed through the morning. Then when he woke up, I came into the bedroom and couldn’t sit still, again. I thought it was going to be a continuation of yesterday, which thankfully it’s not. But that’s the thing, I feel like I’m always living in fear of the next episode, or I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can never truly relax. When I’m not anxious, I get anxious looking for something to be anxious about. Why can’t I just bask in the moment? Or enjoy, even for a little while, feeling the lightness of my chest or the relaxation of my back. Things I never feel.

I’m a lot calmer in the summer, summer is when I thrive, emotionally anyway. Once school starts, the constant stress begins and I feel like I’m never, not anxious. The fear sets in even more then, I’m going to school, I’m so afraid I won’t do well and I’ll waste the money that was spent that semester. I’m so afraid of an episode, that I trigger an episode. It’s just a vicious cycle. I need to learn how to combat that. On the upside, I was able to work all my hours this week. I didn’t leave early or anything.

I’ve learned that a lot of things have to do with mindset. I’m usually in the opposite mindset of where I should be, because I’m always in a fearful mindset. I’m doing my best to be positive, to know my true feelings, but it’s hard. Especially when I’m not used to really feeling, feelings. Positivity is something that I have to work towards everyday, it’s something that I can’t give up on.

Good Vibes Only

I’m going to the Great South Bay Music Festival tonight! With my best friend. Sublime is playing at 8:15, which is super exciting. Their song Santeria has a special place in my heart. You know those songs that you hear and they bring you right back to a specific moment in time? That’s what that song is for me. It reminds me of my 21st birthday, before bipolar had torn me apart, and way before I was able to put myself back together again.

Anyway, I forgot to take my abilify this morning (sorry, mom), I’ll be picking it up from the pharmacy at 4:30 and taking it right before I go to the festival. I actually feel okay, usually if I don’t take my meds I can feel it right away. Surprisingly though, I feel pretty good, I’ve been having a pretty good day. I was anxious for a few minutes, and cried for 2 of those minutes. I feel fine now though. I’m hoping that taking it won’t kill my vibe today. Like I know I can’t just stop taking my meds. I’ve been down that road before, but maybe, just maybe, I can lower my dosage, which would be amazing. I’m so tired of being on the highest dosage of all my meds, it makes me feel like I’m so broken.

I have a weird relationship with medication. I refused to take it consistently for a long time. Which is what landed me in the hospital the first time, then my antidepressant stopped working, which brought on the second hospitalization. I’m so much on meds to the point where, when I go see my psychiatrist, I just catch him up on my feelings and symptoms, he puts in my refills, and I’m on my way. He doesn’t want to put me on any more meds, and we don’t have any wiggle room. I’m afraid to adjust them too, because I’m the most stable I’ve been in a very long time. It’s not like I’m just going to stop taking meds, unacceptable, that’s what I tell myself. Like I said, usually if I don’t take them I feel it right away. If I forget night meds, the whole next day is shot. If I forget morning meds, I just feel all floaty and outside of my body, my head swims. Not today though, today is good vibes only.

The question is though, if I start feeling bad after I take the meds, is it me feeling like I should be feeling worse because I took the meds? Or is it that the meds are actually making me feel that way? I overthink about everything, so the world may never know.

I’ll keep you updated. Who can say on site music festival post? That’ll mostly just be picturessss. Yes!

Today feels like a Friday

You know how some days don’t feel right? Like a it feels like it should be the end of the week, but it’s actually a Tuesday? That’s how I feel today. Since tomorrow is the 4th of July, we have off, and somehow we managed to get off Friday too. So, this Wednesday is kind of like a Friday. We get to wear jeans and maybe leave early, holidays in the middle of the week are pretty awesome.

I’m coming in on Friday though, I have to make up hours because I took off last Thursday because I was switching medications. And I left early the last two days because of migraines and mania. Sooo I lost hours, which is not awesome. I guess coming in Friday won’t be the worst thing ever, no one will be here, it’ll be super chill. Easy breezy. We listen to the radio all day no breaks. It’s not like it’s Spotify or anything either, it’s the actual radio, commercials and all. Sounds fun, right?

I’m working on grant letters of support today. Surprisingly it’s not too bad, but around 1, just like everyday around 1, I’m anxious. Just slightly though. So it’s not terrible, just uncomfortable. It makes it difficult to get work done. I’m focusing on the anxiety too much and not work.

The morning went pretty quickly, lunch came and went, I have to drop my timesheet off for this pay period, which makes me very anxious. They’re always saying that it would “be great” if I could drop it off early, but I can’t. They don’t understand, it takes me all day to work up enough strength and courage to go and do it. I can’t bring it early. I feel like a lot of people don’t understand. Anxiety has become so normalized that not everyone can understand when you say “no, I’m really anxious”. They’re perception of anxiety is personalized. Whether they have it or they listen to the stigma, I feel like people don’t understand, well some people.

I don’t talk openly about my anxiety or bipolar. I don’t want people to make up perceptions about me because of a biological disorder. Like, I can’t just not be bipolar. It’s literally in my genes. Like, thank you for your suggestions, but it is part of me. It makes it hard for me to accept that I’m more than just bipolar, when people perceive me only that one way. That’s why I don’t talk openly about it. I want people to know me, as me. With no preconceived notions.

Anywayyyyy. Work, I’m back at it. Trying not to be anxious, because, it’s Friday, right?

or shall I say Fri-yay…

The East End in July

I don’t spend a lot of time all the way out on the east end of Long Island (i live closer to the middle) especially in the summer. Today was one of the days though, that I decided to venture out the the lavender fields in East Marion. My, my, what an experience. It was just a perfect morning.

I packed up my boyfriend and the car, as if we were going on a road trip, and off we went. My parents were going to meet us out there. (I’m also one of those people who likes to be over prepared). Anyway, we ventured out and drove, and drove. We stopped for coffee at one of my favorite shops, which was packed, which I thought was just giving me an idea of how the day was going to go, but boy was I wrong.

We made great time out to East Marion and there was practically no one at the lavender fields. It was the perfect morning. The sun was shining it wasn’t too hot, it was just right. So we paid the fee to get in (yes, there’s a $9 fee to get into a lavender field, but trust me it’s worth it). Then we started meandering our way around the fields, there’s probably about 4-5 acres of lavender, it wasn’t fully bloomed, but it was still beautiful and if you like the smell of lavender, this is your type of place. There’s English and French lavender and it’s just a sea of beautiful flowers. And of course, purple is my favorite color sooooo, I was obsessed.

I always see people taking the cutest pictures in this field and they always look so amazing. So, of course, I made my boyfriend take a million and one pictures. And it was just the best day.

Let me just add some stuff about my mental state. This was a day that I needed. We left at 8:15 and we were back by 1:15, there was barely any anxiety, and it was just perfect. I knew what to do to minimize my anxiety, but still be able to go and do something I really wanted to do. So, I made the plans and just did it. My strength outweighed the panic today.

Another thing (I know this post is like a million years long) is that I wore shorts and a crop for the first time since I put on the medication weight. I’m not the biggest fan of my body, but I’ve been reading a lot about body positively lately. So I decided, eff it, and I wore the cute outfit. I cringed at the pictures a little bit, but the memories that were made today is why really matters, so I posted the pictures.

That’s my story for the day, it was a beautiful Sunday, in my beautiful life, and I’m the luckiest girl in the world. So, is it worth it, you ask? Going to the east end in the summer? Yes. But be sure to plan it properly, trust me.

Plan your escape

It’s a slow day at work today. I’m by myself, doing nothing, so I figured I’d write a post. It’s been awhile. Basically, I’ve been feeling good. Well more like neural, no waiting for the other shoe to drop kind of good, but just chilling good. It’s amazing. I haven’t felt like this in forever.

Anyway, I switched from adderall to vyvanse, so far so good. By that I mean I just switched yesterday morning and nothing bad has happened yet. Sooo yeah, I’m pretty happy about it.

I’m working today, I’m very proud of myself, I’ve only taken one day off in the last four weeks and I didn’t leave early any days. Like, who am I? The queen of “not feeling well” to the point where I would keep myself from doing things, even working. I’m in a much better head space from a year ago. Why, I don’t know. I keep writing in my journal, that something isn’t clicking, but that’s the thing, I think things are clicking. Finally. So no symptoms are the best symptoms, right?

I guess to answer my own question, it’s a thin line. Sometimes you’ll get too comfortable with no symptoms and neglect yourself, sometimes you’ll focus on it too much and you won’t let yourself feel, what I would call, neutral. So I guess I’ve found the balance. I’m taking care of myself, the best I can, but, also doing the best I can, I’m aware. Aware of triggers, situations, my own anxiety. Mostly triggers. I’m thinking about it now. Like, if this situation is going to make me anxious, than I’ll handle it this way. Instead of blindly going in and hoping it’ll work out, that’s not how my brain works. I need to be prepared, always have an escape plan. Even if it’s just me telling someone that I “don’t feel well”, that’s my default. No matter what I do or where I go, I think I’ll always be the queen of “I don’t feel well”. It’s my roots. I used to have trouble describing what I felt, so I would just say that I didn’t feel well, because that’s all I knew. I knew I didn’t feel well, I couldn’t explain why or anything past that, that was my baseline. For a long time. How and why that changed was a force of nature and it just so happened that, that force was me. I thought it was meds or biology, but it was me.

I am the force of nature behind this change.

The Fad of the Year

It seems as if everyone has bipolar disorder these days. Especially celebrities. I mean, yeah, it’s great that people are more willing to open up about their disorder, but sometimes it’s hard to swallow when they don’t give any background and just say they have it. Or maybe they only talk about one side of it without explaining what the flip side is. There is no black and white with bipolar disorder. Yes, everyone experiences symptoms differently, but sometimes it seems like a they just want the attention or sympathy. I almost got into a fight on Twitter about it, but I came here instead. This is just how I feel.

Let me tell you what happened. The magazine Cosmo posted an article about Kanye’s bipolar disorder. He only went into a small part of it, how he gets paranoid, which I don’t doubt he has severe symptoms of something, but to me it doesn’t sound like bipolar disorder. I don’t know, I’m just irritated. I feel like there’s still so much stigma. I haven’t even told most of my family about my disorder. Let alone tweet it out. I can’t believe I did that. Someone said it last week about how everyone seems to have bipolar disorder these days, and I agree. It is not fair to the people who do have it who are afraid to tell people because of stigma.

Get it Together Girl

By girl, I mean me. I’ve been falling off the wagon recently with everything. Skincare, hair care, organization, self care and love, and mostly school. I don’t know what happened. I fell into a depression and I didn’t know what to do, then there was the crippling anxiety. I mean I guess that could have something to do with it, actually that has everything to do with it. I’ve had to learn that I can’t let my depression and anxiety control me, but that’s easier said than done.

I was also sick, then I was throwing up at least once a week for 2 weeks for no reason. It could be explained as stress, but that’s hard to except. That I was so stressed out that I threw up? That’s something new. I don’t like it. I know things are bad when my skin starts suffering. I have breakouts and dark spots and dullness. Things were to the point where I wouldn’t even wash my face or shower on a regular schedule. I used to have my weeks scheduled out, even my days, but that stopped working to make me want to do things. I just need to get it together. I just don’t know how. I feel lost and as if no one can help. The doctors have decided that I don’t need to change meds and that my dosage can’t be increased, which means it’s up to me. I have to find the strength to change and be better, do better. It’s easier said that done though.

This is ridiculous

I’ve been on two specific medications for about 6 and a half years, because of these medications I have gained a significant amount of weight. With that came a slew more mental issues, body image, and such. So I’ve just found out that I probably need to start wearing plus size clothing, I’ve come to peace with that. The thing that I can’t come the peace with is how the clothing we have available to us is not even close to the same as what “normal size” people have. I’m 4’11” and 220. I used to be so tiny before this medication. So coming to terms with the fact that this was a side effect that I have to deal with because I NEED this medication (latuda). I tried coming off of it last year and I spiraled. So we decided to reduce my dosage by half. This did not help. Anyway, back to my clothing rant. I can’t go shopping because when that happens I’ll see such cute things and try all of them one and not one thing will fit me. Do you know how discouraging that is? I know some of you do. It’s disheartening. Not only can I not wear the clothes I like anymore, but my options have become severely limited. So not only am I wearing plus size, but I need petite, this is not really a thing. The bigger the size the taller/longer the clothes get. I feel like this is so unfair. I love fashion and have a closet full of clothes that don’t fit me and may not ever again. It makes me sad, for anyone in a situation like mine.

The fashion industry is broken, what they think is “plus size” isn’t. I never got angry about this until now, because I was living in a fantasy world, a world where I would someday fit into the clothes I want to or even today I could go out and buy something I really, really want. Well, that’s fantasy and I feel like I was just slapped by reality.