I’ve Started Going To Therapy Again

Therapy is done in layers, but unlike an onion, we don’t simply peel off and discard layers once we look at them. We take a layer, examine it, put it back, take another layer, leave it for later, skip a layer to see something else, then go back to the second layer and reexamine it with what we know now. Maybe along the way you fall back into an old habit (remember, the layers don’t disappear) and we spend some time just holding all the layers without processing or questioning them.

Entering therapy with much to talk about—that’s the top layer, or maybe even the second or third. Sometimes that top layer—what we sometimes refer to in therapy circles as the “presenting problem”—has been getting all the attention for so long because it’s the loudest or most painful. When that’s peeled back for a moment, when it has received some attention, we need to take some time to see what else may be exposed. These may be quieter parts of you but are no less important or meaningful

Anxiety About Tomorrow Keeps Me Awake Tonight

5:30am is coming way too fast. And its making me panic. Which is making it impossible to fall asleep. Does anyone else ever fall into this cycle when you know you have to get up extra early for something? 😨

Questioning My Sanity

Nothing….. I feel nothing….. No love, no joy, no sadness, no guilt….. NOTHING!!!

I have been spending copious amounts of time staring off into space. My focus on no particular thing. I get lost on a thought. A simple thought. I need to do some laundry … and I suddenly break that apart into I million pieces, not even blinking an eyelash for minutes on end. Zoey needs her pink blanket washed … David is going to need socks … my favorite pyjama pants need to get thrown in … but I think I sleep longer when I wear them so maybe I’ll start wearing my most uncomfortable night clothes so that maybe it will force me to want to get dressed in the morning … phone rings … I hear it but my eyes are so locked into place staring ahead of me that I can’t even make my head turn … why is this happening? Have I had a psychotic break of some sort and my brain has suddenly shut down and left me in this position forever? Why can’t I look in a different direction … I know everything that’s going on but I’m not able to respond at all ….

What’s happening to me?

The Demon Has Made An Appearance

The evil head of bipolar has decided to surface this week and it has forced me to my knees in brokenness. I spent the past 2 days curled up in the fetal position in my bed, a dog on either side of me keeping me warm. I am a walking zombie, experiencing waves of emotion that leave me crumpled over in tears. I’m so detached that I have no awareness of what’s happening around me, often not even hearing David say my name. Buddy has taken to lying on top of my chest and I welcome his weight and warmth as it’s the only thing reminding me I’m still alive.

Bipolar disorder is hard.

I’ve gone a while without having an episode but when I do, each one is truly a battle of life and death. Yesterday I took a handful of pills. Not enough to stop my heart but enough to induce a 19 hour semi coma. My husband came to find me in a very deep sleep, curled up in the fetal position, and drooling and he wasn’t able to wake me. After a while he pulled me to a sitting position and got me to drink water. In a fit of rage he flushed all of the medication, leaving me without any for the next 2 weeks, until I can get it filled again. I’m screwed.

Then he sat up all night. My husband sat up the entire night, watching over me, afraid that I was going to stop breathing. But I didn’t. I made it through the night and he left me in bed and went to work at 6am with zero sleep. And that’s where I stayed until 4pm today. My only accomplishment has been a shower which I cried the whole way through.

If you have a god that you pray to, I ask from the bottom of my heart that you would whisper a prayer for me. I’m not doing so good …. and I’m really scared. I don’t know how much I can handle.

Effects of Meds on Marriage

I’m trying to decide which can cause more damage to my marriage: the medication side effects or an unmedicated illness.

Ever since I started medication for my bipolar disorder years ago, I have secretly struggled with a decrease in sexual desire.

I could stop the meds. Then I wouldn’t have to force myself to have sex with my husband. I wouldn’t have to start mentally preparing myself in the morning so that I could initiate sex that night and make my husband think I’m all fired up.

I am, in fact, fired up. But it’s not something that instantly happens anymore. I can’t get spontaneously turned on and desire sex at random times. Not since I began treatment for bipolar disorder.

I have to spend hours working towards it. Mentally, I self talk.  I do thinks to make myself FEEL pretty. Paint my nails. Or style my hair. Send David a few kinky texts at work. Texts I have already written and prepared and saved in a file. Ready for when I need them. Maybe I put clean sheets in our bed.

And sometimes I go to our “special” drawer. A place where we keep our adult toys. I hold one and visualize the things we’ve done with it. I pick up another and another and imagine what I could do with it with David that night.

Sometimes I start to feel a tinge of desire. Of longing. And I begin to get excited for him to get home from work. I lie back on my bed and all of a sudden I feel like crying.

I should not have to work this hard and I should definitely not need to prepare myself like this in order to be intimate with my own husband. So I battle with the thought of stopping my medications.

If I do that, what happens then? A completely different problem arises. The bipolar itself. A whole new kind of strain on our marriage.

Stopping my meds means the depression will surface. I won’t want to get out of bed. I’ll be very irritable and end up causing arguments with my husband over little insignificant things. Without my meds I blow up over everything.

I may become manic. End up spending our mortgage money on dog toys on eBay. I stop sleeping so I don’t even make it to bed for nights on end.

And sex? Yeah! I can’t control myself. I want to be touching him all the time. I need to be near him every minute that he’s home, often causing him frustration because I take away his personal space.

Then we argue.

We get frustrated.

And I get suicidal.

All of this because I stopped my medication so that I could be more intimate with my husband. But instead, the bipolar has made things even worse.

So ultimately, what has more effect on intimacy in my marriage? I don’t exactly have an answer to that. Living with bipolar isn’t easy and there isn’t a single area of my life that isn’t affected. I wake up every morning, afraid. Afraid that he will leave me because intimacy is so complicated for us.

So what would cause more damage to my marriage? Taking the medication or living with untreated bipolar disorder? I’m not sure and I’m not about to find out.

Because thankfully I have an amazing guy who tries his best to understand me and my illness. We communicate openly about intimacy in our relationship and I know that I won’t ever have to stop my medication in order to keep my husband satisfied sexually.

And I hope you never feel the need to do that either.

Before You Judge Me About Not Working

I desperately want to be able to work, but I can’t. Here’s why:

1. My illness is unpredictable.

Some days, I can function reasonably well. Other days, not so much and some days, not at all.

2. I am unable to maintain stability for long enough to work.

I have rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.

3. Stress and tiredness make my illness worse. I might be able to work two or three shifts. However, this would impact my health and I would spend days or even weeks recovering.

4. I am unreliable due to my illness.

I cannot maintain consistency as my moods fluctuate so much.

5. I have anxiety and panic attacks.

Some days, I can’t even leave my house because of this. I’m worse in public, especially if I don’t have someone with me.

6. I often need to be somewhere familiar and with someone I trust.

I need this to manage my anxiety and to help keep myself safe.

7. I have problems eating.

If I’m not at home to eat, I need to be with someone who I trust. Otherwise, I panic and am often unable to eat at all.

8. My medication has bad side effects, including a tremor and extreme tiredness.

I have to sleep a lot more than normal, including during the day to function. My medication and my illness often prevent me from driving too, which is very restrictive.

9. I must keep regular appointments with my mental health professionals.

This helps to help to maintain my mental health and/or to prevent further deterioration if I am unwell. This is vital. A missed appointment can at worst lead to a hospital admission.

Which brings me on to one of the main reasons I can’t hold a job down:

10. I have to sometimes be admitted to hospital and crisis units.

These inpatient admissions have been and are sometimes necessary when I become unwell either with mania, depression, or eating issues (whether I like it or not and sometimes whether I cooperate or not.)

So despite very much wanting to work, I hope I have been able to explain some of the reasons why I can’t. Oh and before anyone judges me for not trying, can I just mention I have tried being in employment many, many times. I have worked on and off since the age of 16 in various jobs.

I also managed to do half of my psychology degree before having to drop out due to my illness. Clearly, I’m not totally unqualified and obviously, I’m always trying. I do what I can when I can.

So next time please, don’t be so quick to judge someone who isn’t working. There may be many good reasons. It certainly doesn’t mean they don’t want to.