Extremes

I don’t know what living a balanced life feels like. When I am sad I don’t cry, I pour. When I am happy I don’t smile, a glow. When I am angry I don’t yell, I burn. The good thing about feeling in extremes is when I love I give them wings. But perhaps that isn’t such a good thing either because they always tend to leave me and you should see me when my heart is broken. I don’t grieve, I shatter.

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Don’t Suffer Alone

If you or someone you know is in distress or considering suicide, there are places to turn for support right here in our province, including your doctor or Newfoundland and Labrador’s Mental Health Crisis Centre at (709) 737-4668.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention website also has information about where to find help.

You NEVER have to struggle alone. Sometimes it’s easier to talk on the phone than it is face to face and that’s why these services are available. You can access them from all over the world, not just in Newfoundland. So if you are struggling, I urge you to take the biggest step of all and break your silence by confiding in someone.

I wish I had known about these services when I was in that dark place. But I’m glad I know now because I can share it with you guys. I hope you all have a safe night 💜

#SuicideHotline #SuicidePrevention #DontSufferAlone #SufferInSilenceNoMore #DepressionHurts #PickUpThePhone #SomeoneIsWaitingToTalkToYou

You Think I Wouldn’t Love To Do That?!

When you first become sick they will show you sympathy. They’ll send you cards and hope that you get well soon. The call or text to check in on you and see how you’re doing. They’ll cut you some slack because of your situation. They’ll be understanding when you have trouble keeping up with them.

But once your illness becomes a chronic condition they wonder why you can’t get better. They show impatience and frustration. They stop trying to include you in their plans. They ask why you aren’t trying harder. They just don’t get it. They just want you to be able bodied again so that you are not inconveniencing them.

People get tired of you being sick but they don’t stop to think that you’re probably tired of being sick too. They don’t take the time to think about how you would love to just get over it. They don’t care enough to realize that you did not choose this.

Planning Around The Pain

I kinda had a meltdown last night. My pain was so bad. We went to bed and we were talking about our plans for today. Said we would go to church this morning, go to gander and check out the derby for a bit but not stay for the full thing, pick up my morphine at the pharmacy which is due today, and go to church again tonight.

I went to turn over in bed and I hurt so much that I started to cry. It was an ugly cry. Sobbing. Snot. Tears. Hyperventilating. I know that it was going to happen sooner or later because things have just been building up. I feel so guilty because David is on holidays and I know I am holding him back from doing things.

Anyways we had a chat and he massaged my back and we decided no church this morning. Instead I slept in. Now he’s gone to Gander to get my pills and he’s gone to the derby by himself. It took a lot of convincing because he refused to go without me but it makes me feel much better knowing that he’s gone to do something. We do every single thing together. He never has any time without me and I think that individual time is really important. We have a very dependent relationship. It’s like we can’t be on our own without feeling incredible guilt. So I think it’s good that he’s doing something without me.

He’s going to be home in time for supper and then we will go to this evening’s church service. While he’s gone I’m going to relax and have a hot shower, to help loosen the sore muscles all over my body. In order to go to church I need the entire day to prepare.

That’s what it’s like living with CRPS.

You plan around the pain.

Note to self: You don’t have to take this day all at once. But rather one step, one breath, one moment at a time. I will be satisfied with every little thing I do today because I know how much strength it took.

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.