Monday, April 30, 2012

Under the rock at the bottom of bottom.

Today was a bad day.  My brain fails me all the time now.  I don't have much to say.  I do not want to speak.  My mind is so mish-mashed.  I scribbled pages and pages of thoughts and observations today, but none of them really matter.  They all lead to the same place:  my brain fails me all the time now. 

My next appointment is on Thursday.  I am very low this evening.  Very low.  I googled how to kill myself without pain.  This (killing yourself without pain) does not exist; HOWEVER, there are lots of fucking assholes who enjoy making fun of people like me who are looking for an answer to this question, so I suppose I should thank them - the fucking pricks - they saved my life by PISSING ME THE FUCK OFF. 

I would be happy not to wake in the morning.  Switch off - done - peace.  Please know that I am using every bit of strength I have in my mind and body to stay with you all (my audience of zero) at this moment.  There are people I want to meet.  There are things I want to do.  There are places I want to see.  Those are the only things keeping me here now.  I am trying for all of those things.   I am trying.  This is the hardest thing I have ever done -- stay alive.  It would be much easier to end trans.  It would. 

I filled my risperidone prescription.  $1.06 - what a bargain.  The pharmacist looked at me with that face - the pity face.  Fuck you, bitch.  I am trying.  "This will make you gain considerable weight - I want you to be aware of that." 

"Really?  That's awesome, because  I'm not fat at all right now," (showed the straining waistband on my slacks)  - just give me my damn pills."  She pissed me off with the pity face.  I'm sorry.  That's all I can do is say I'm sorry. 

I'm taking the pill as directed.  I have to.  I have to trust that someone knows more than I do right now.  I am unable to trust myself.  I can't even remember what day it is without checking every few minutes.

If I believed in God I would pray.  I'm shit out of luck there. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I am so fucking angry.  Agitated.  Irritated.  I want everyone to shut the fuck up.  I want everyone to go the fuck away.  I am so ugly.  I want to beat the ever-loving shit out of myself.  I HATE. 

I hate everything.  I am not helpful.  Or kind.  Or patient.  I serve no purpose. 

This process takes too long.  Help is so slow.  I do my best to smile through it all, but I am up, down, sideways, upside down; there are no words to describe how I feel.  I swing back and forth in such a violent way that I hurt.  I fucking HURT. 

It's like a death shake.  I'm in the jaws, bloody and screaming, flinging back and forth. 

People want me to make decisions and I CAN'T!  I CAN'T!  DON'T FUCKING ASK ME TO MAKE UP MY MIND!  MY MIND IS NOT HERE!

I would cry but I have forgotten how to cry.

Is this what it feels like when a mind winds down?  I am fighting to hold tight to who I think I am ... but it's all slipping away.

What if I disappear?  Will anyone notice? 

Saturday, April 28, 2012


The noise in this house is just too much.  The television is on.  The dog is barking in the yard.  Someone is talking.  My husband is sanding drywall.  The wood stove is roaring.  Someone is pouring a bowl of cereal.  A broom drops.  At times like this - when the normal sounds of life overwhelm my brain - I have to get away ... put in ear plugs ... wear headphones.

If the noise goes on, my brain shuts down.  I no longer hear individual noises.  They all combine to form a painful din.  I start to rhythmically curl and uncurl my toes or tap my feet on the floor.  If things commence to the panic stage, I tap my face with my hand.  I am unable to speak. 

My Valium helps to calm the screaming panic in my brain during these moments.  Noise is a part of life.  It's everywhere.  Unfortunately for me, it makes my skin burn and itch.  It's hard to breathe.  I must run, claw, tap, rock, bite, shake.  Imagine a caged, cornered animal.  It's not pretty.  It's only noise, but for me it causes actual, physical pain.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I feel fine, right?

Today was an "ok" day.  No real issues.  No racing thoughts, anxiety, panic, shaking ... nothing.  Does this mean that I am cured?  I find myself doubting my diagnosis on days like this.  I am not on any sort of mood stabilizing / anti-psychotic drugs yet, but here I am ... feeling fine. 

Fine.  Normal.  I have no idea what "fine" or "normal" look like and therefore refuse to trust my definition of those terms.  I prefer the term "stable".  I have bounced between the up and down poles for decades.  I have no idea how to define "normal" or "fine" as they relate to my life, so I intend to set out on a journey to "stable". 

Switching gears now - I crossed something rather significant off my bucket list this week.  I am almost 43 years old.  I am willing to bet that most people have tried marijuana at least once in their lives, but I never did.  I never smoked pot.  In fact, I never engaged in any sort of illegal drug use.  I never judged people who did, it just wasn't for me.

My smoking partner, who shall remain nameless, felt that I would benefit from this experience, and arranged all the details.  When the moment arrived, we left the house (he grabbed a couple of bottles of water on the way out - this will be important later) and walked down the street.  It was late - probably 10:00 p.m.  I was exhausted and complained about the long walk, but we eventually found a secluded spot to light up. 

Now - not only have I never smoked pot, but I've never smoked.  Anything.  Ever.  Not only did I have to learn how to smoke, but I had to learn how to smoke pot.  My first hit was a dismal failure.  I burned the back of my throat and held the smoke in too long.  Second hit - much of the same.

The third hit went horribly wrong.  I heard my smoking partner say, "Oh, shit - don't swallow the smo...shit."  Too late - I swallowed the smoke by mistake and spent the next 5 minutes hacking and puking my pasta all over the dirt road.  Out of the darkness, at exactly the right moment, a blessed bottle of water appeared.  My smoking partner is a pro - lucky for me.

I was reluctant to keep going, but was told that pot helps to alleviate nausea, so I tried again.  Better, but not great.  Then I realized that if I inhale the smoke into my mouth, let it cool for just a second, then inhale it into my lungs, hold, exhale -- perfection.  I finally figured it out.

I was told not to expect much that first time because I was essentially opening up THC receptors.  The real high will come the next time (if there is a next time).  At first I felt nothing ... then all of a sudden...

Every bit of pain left my body.  We were walking back to the house now and I felt 12 years old - a kid out for a walk on a summer break evening with friends.  Then the laughter ... and the walking issues ... and the laughter.  I laughed - really laughed - for the first time in years.  It was pure, without reservation.  It was glorious.  I had the best sleep of my life.   

This experience came at the end of "diagnosis day" - easily one of the most horrific/significant days/daze of my life.  I lost my mind in the psychiatrist's waiting room, received a horrible diagnosis, went for pre-lithium testing, tried to work, cried, came home, cried, ate too much, smoked pot, puked, smoked pot, laughed ... then realized that pot will not help me.  It was awesome and fun and free, but it will not work day-to-day for me.  I have to live and it was a sad moment when I said goodbye to the best feeling I've had in years. 

Now the funny part.  The next morning I woke up to my house guest in my bedroom.  He was chatting with my husband about his morning walk with his little dog.  The little dog brought my house guest down that very same dirt road where I smoked pot for the first time and then puked all over the place.  My house guest said, "I told the dog, "No - no - do not go there.  Some addict was here and puked all over the fucking place.  That puke looks like the State of Florida."

I did that, on the worst/best day of my life.  Still, I'm not really sure -- do I feel fine?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stop me if you've heard this one ...

So these two Poles walk into a bar ...

Yeah - you probably heard that one. 

While I am at the beginning stages of my diagnosed illness - the label placed on people to define the disorder - I have been living with the effects of bipolar disorder for at least 30 years.  I analyze every action now - trying to make sense of it in this new context. 

"Am I really happy, or is this the beginning of a manic episode?" 

"Is this shaking from my coffee, or a side effect of medications?  Perhaps another anxiety attack?"

"Am I really this excited to do all of this work - super fast - lots of rapid discussion - racing thoughts YAY!! - or is this mania?"

This is an old problem that moved on up like George and Weezie to a well-lit, hyper-focused, deee-luxe apartment in the sky-eye-eye.   

Today was a manic day.  My mind was incredibly clear - super focused.  Everything made more than perfect sense - it was so easy to be smarter than everyone else in the room.  I hit every note, did incredible amounts of work, had extremely upbeat discussions with clients in person and on the telephone.  I had spot-on conversations with colleagues.  I laughed - too much.  Smiled all the time.  Wide-eyed fun house shit.  I was on fire.  I could listen to multiple things at a time and my brain processed them all with incredible clarity.  I drove home listening to DOPE and rocked that shit out. 

Then it all fell apart.  I could feel it slipping; slowly at first (like a melting ice cream cone) and then all at once I knew - it was coming down.  I was going down.


It's a scary thing - the falling.  You never know how low you're going to go.  Will this just be a bit of sadness, or will you retreat to your bedroom, hit yourself in the head...dig at your skin....wish for the sweet release of death. 

I am still in the pre-med phase, so my only meds are my anti-depressant and valium.  I reached for both and things are holding steady right now at a calm detachment.  This is a good fall.  I'll live through this one. 

My psychiatrist prescribed lithium and risperidone.  I rarely sleep and stay awake for days at a time.  Sleep is important while we are waiting for the baseline test results before lithium therapy can begin, but I am not willing to take the risperidone.  It is not for me -- too many side effects.  I will continue to deal with my lack of sleep because I am not taking that drug.

I have therapy/psych appointments every week and plan on discussing the protocol prior to beginning any drug therapy. 



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It has a name.

[Yesterday was a] veryveryveryvery tough day. Very. I told a complete stranger (psychiatrist) my entire life story in less than 45 minutes, to include displaying areas of self-injury.

Now I am at work ... trying.

I am ashamed, embarrassed, raw. To highlight how fucked up I am, I was 45 minutes early for my appointment - just because that is what I do. I checked in, was told that the doc had no appointments ahead of me, sat, and waited. Time marched on.

Jasmine was screaming. Jasmine's father was screaming out Jasmine's name. Constantly. I will never forget Jasmine because I heard her name five fucking thousand times over those 45 minutes.

But wait - there's more!

10:30 came and went - my doc is now late. 10:45 came and went ... Jasmine and her father are still fucking screaming at each other and I am now tapping myself in the head. The woman next to me asks me a question - I can't hear her because my head is buzzing - I just nod and keep tapping my forehead.

I found the ability to stand and walked to the window. Was told "I will be right with you."


I went and sat on the floor in the hall - tapping my face the entire time. That is where the doctor found me. She apologized. Apparently the staff put down that I had canceled my appointment. *I* did not cancel, *I* was the person called to come in because someone *else* canceled.

We went into her office. Did the thing. She asked what date it was - I could not answer - did not know. She came back to it ... I tried counting back to the last date that I remembered for certain...could not do it.

I rarely cry, but I cried. I am bipolar - rapid cycling. I have OCD, anxiety/panic disorder, and some other shit. I had to stop at that point and just have her write it because I could not listen. I'll read it later.

Meds. The meds scare me. I went immediately to the lab for baseline tests. Renal function, EKG, Thyroid test, and blood work for some other shit. Why? Because I will be taking Lithium (See Metabolic adverse effects of Lithium).  I am also taking something called Risperidone to help me sleep (See Risperidone information).

I feel like a disgusting piece of worthless shit. I am not that - I know - but that is how I feel. She asked me, "What do you do for work?"

"I am a corporate paralegal."

"Where did you go to school?"

"Are you talking college? I didn't. I bought a million-dollar restaurant at 20 years of age, ran that for ten years. Built a few houses. Started a successful catering business. Had three children. Did the books for a luxury yacht builder for a few years. Ran a deli in town. Then I was hired at the law firm following my time at the police department where I was the senior data clerk."

"I thought you needed college to be a paralegal."

"The American Bar Association's definition of a paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work EXPERIENCE who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. I have 13 years of high pressure experience and continuing legal education. I'm fine. Would I like to go to college? Yes, but that boat sailed almost 25 years ago when I started kicking ass in life without having my ticket punched."


I think I want a second opinion, mostly because Lithium scares me TO DEATH. I keep thinking Cobain, you know? She was also late, and she made me feel like a fraud.

I am too fucking sick to be thinking this hard about my own damn care.

That was my morning.

I just want to quit my life right now.