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Sunday, July 15, 2012

A friend recently reminded me that the word “hate” is a strong word; a word much too strong to be used casually.

We all use it in daily conversation. Sometimes we hate the way our hair turns out, we hate the way we look in our jeans, we hate that people leave the door open at Starbucks, well I do at least. How hard is it to push a door closed?

It’s a word that’s thrown around much too casually, out of habit. It’s an irrational word I think, however, there is something I hate. I hate it because it controls me at times and I have no way of escape.

Today I hate. I hate the constant battle with a faceless foe. It’s tiring, it’s all consuming and it’s hard work. Usually I can hide my anxiety and panic and hold myself together, or at least put forth the appearance that I can.  

Today it’s winning. Panic was upon me as I awoke this morning. I could feel my anxiety rise as I dressed  for the day. I couldn’t shake the constant feeling of dread, of fear.

There are so many that can’t identify with the enemy I hate. They don’t understand how a person can be controlled by an unseen foe. To them it’s unfathomable.

“Snap out of it,” “you’re being dramatic,” “it’s all in your head, it’s not real,” are all words I’ve heard much too often. While it is in my head, it is much more than that, it’s physical, very physical.

It controls my heart rate. My heart races, it “flips,” its beat is erratic. It controls my breathing, it’s shallow and irregular. It controls muscle tension and my movements. My jaw tenses and body cannot relax.  I constantly feel as though I will vomit. My thoughts spin and have no coherency.

The tunnel I am sucked into is consuming and is to be feared. It’s in those times thoughts come that are usually banished from the processes of my mind. I have no control over them during these times. They’re assaultive and dark.

Once the fall begins, it cannot be stopped. I must endure the ride and trust that some of the many medications I have on hand will take the edge off. Today they’re not. It’s on days like this I have to carefully monitor what I take and when I take it. There are meds that cannot be mixed, or doses exceeded.

Sometimes in the fog I forget what I’ve consumed and relying on my memory isn’t a great idea. I find myself wanting to take more and more of the magical pills in the hopes of easing the fear that strangles me. That in itself only creates more panic, more fear and therefore more hate.

I hate being out of control. I hate the effects on my body and in my mind, I hate being its captive having to wait until I am set free.

Yes, today I hate. Today I try to numb my thoughts and control my body, but I know I have to give in, fighting it only causes its attacks to be intensified. For that, today, I’m just not strong enough.


Karen Greenberg July 15, 2012 at 6:33 PM  

I am so sorry you had to go through this today. I hope tomorrow is a better one.

Thank you for being so frank and descriptive. I get easily frustrated with my bipolar husband sometimes because it is hard to understand from the outside. Your blog post today has helped me to remember to be a little more patient sometimes.

The Bipolar Diva July 15, 2012 at 6:39 PM  

Thank you Karen. It's an invisible enemy we fight and some days are better than others. I keep wanting to call my psychiatrist, but I don't want to "burden" him. I think that's a funny thought given that's his job.

Karen Greenberg July 15, 2012 at 6:47 PM  

I understand that. My husband is hesitant to call his psychiatrist sometimes, too. He was just diagnosed in March, so we are new to this whole idea that he could be feeling better. He's definitely shown signs of bipolar since before we were married twelve years ago, so this is a very different change in life. Don't hesitate to call your doc if you think you need to. Like you said, it IS his job. He is there to help you.

The Bipolar Diva July 15, 2012 at 6:53 PM  

I wasn't diagnosed until I was in my mid forties. It sure explained a lot. I usually do pretty well, but today I'm falling. My daughter called and I gave her the docs number in case someone needs to call and I can't. It's strange that I can call him at other times, but in crisis I resist for some reason.

Karen Greenberg July 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM  

That's a really smart move. My husband signed a consent form that allows me to call and speak to his doctor for him and for the doctor to give me information that might be important to the treatment. I truly hope you feel better soon!

Rob-bear July 15, 2012 at 8:16 PM  

“It’s all in your head, it’s not real,” Ah, no! It may start in one's head with a very real chemical imbalance, but soon that unbalanced chemistry effects other chemicals, throughout the entire body. As you have so clearly explained, Diva.

Been there; done that; have the scars.

I do hope that things are so much better tomorrow!

Blessings and Bear hugs, m'lady.!

lala1625 July 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM  

I resist calling when I am in crisis too. I really appreciate this blog post, I hope by reading it to him he might gain shine insight into what I go thru day in and day out. It's a roller coaster and unfortunately it's one I will never brew able to get off of. Trying to accept that I could lose my mind at any moment is scary.

middle child July 15, 2012 at 9:27 PM  

It often is there right when you wake up. I think that is so unfair. It isn't something you can make go away. It is very real. It affects you physically. And it doesn't go away until it is good and ready.
Sucks. Just know that there are others who do understand. And hate is the perfect word here.

Unknown July 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM  

I hope your evening and tomorrow go better. My husband has a hard time verbalizing what he goes through, and I think we both get frustrated with the situation sometimes. Thanks for giving me a glimpse of the kinds of things he may struggle with too, it helps me keep a better perspective and rein in my own impulses.

(Karen, my husband, too, was just recently diagnosed, but we haven't started any new treatment yet.)

lala1625 July 15, 2012 at 11:34 PM  

I understand not calling for help in crisis, I do that too. I don't always realize I am in one until my friends or family point it out. I really appreciate your words, I hope they will help my husband to catch a glimpse into how life is for me. It's difficult to accept that at any given moment you could lose your mind and that it's a roller coaster that you are unfortunately going to get off of.

Outcast July 16, 2012 at 3:52 AM  

I'm sorry to hear that you felt like that Diva, I hate it in fact, I hate that you have to go through it because I know it's all the bipolar and it's not really you. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for you guys.

Pat July 16, 2012 at 8:07 AM  

I can't imagine the struggles you are dealing with - the pain in your mind. I pray that your pain is eased.

Andrea L July 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM  

So sorry that you were having such a bad day!! Your words are so true! This is a horrible disease, and paired with other 'invisible' diseases, it makes life so hard sometimes! I've heard all the things you said so many times, and its so frustrating because you start to feel sometimes that it is you :( When my stress and anxiety gets bad, my pain gets that much worse as well...its all such a vicious cycle!
Call your doctor if you need him. Lean on your family, and the people who do understand. Not everyone thinks 'it's in your head'
Sending 'virtual' hugs to you

Liz Mays July 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM  

It is a strong word, but I think your demons are worth hating.

Unknown July 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM  

I am so sorry it was a bad day for you hun. Having dealt with what you are I totally understand. It made me afraid to leave my house, fearing what would happen to my kids if I wasn't the only caregiver. It was hell.

Tracie July 16, 2012 at 9:04 PM  

Oh my goodness. It is just like that for me...

This weekend was rough for me, really rough. I'm unmedicated. I'm one the thousands who are still undiagnosed...I didn't begin to suspect bipolar until fairly recently.

Following your blog now. Come read & follow back, plz.

Crystal July 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM  

I completely understand about the fall! Sometimes it can be tough to enjoy the summer knowing that the painful time of fall is coming. I have a theory that it has to do with how fast the daylight changes. When you think about it, daylight minutes are lost quicker the closer it is to the equinox (and vice versa in the spring).

As for your meds, perhaps someone close in your life that you trust can help you out with that. I have a good friend that holds some of my meds for "safe keeping." She is well-versed in mental health and understands the circumstances. Perhaps you have someone to help you out with that?

Take each day as it comes. I've found meditating helps keep my mind from running away (only people with panic and mania know what that means). Take care of yourself and don't forget to breathe!
Hugs! July 17, 2012 at 3:55 PM  

**“Snap out of it,” “you’re being dramatic,” “it’s all in your head, it’s not real,” **

It's Real & people who make light of it are ignorant & without heart.

Thinking of you today, Diva...and praying you see glimmers of light tomorrow.

Love Love Love.

Monica July 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM  

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with that awful thing called anxiety! My husband has had to deal with mayjor Anxiety attacks his whole life. Before seeking a doctor he tried to self medicate himself by abusing prescription drugs and alcohol! Finally after seeing several different Doctors he has a grip on things. He still has his good days and bad days but by the grace of God he gets through them day by day! I onced asked him what it was like having an anxiety attack and I will never forget the example he gave me. He said it was a if someone was holding a gun to his head and threatening to pull the trigger at any given moment! I can't imagine!I will make sure to say a special prayer for you!

Furry Bottoms July 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM  

I hate too. And I know it's not good for me to hate, because it occupies precious energy and space in my body. But sometimes it just cannot be helped.

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