Let’s take DID out of the picture for a minute. Now, let’s take out SRA. (I know, I know). At this time, bipolar disorder is what’s getting at me. I have never *felt* bipolar, really, until this semester. Now, it’s making itself the centre of my life. It is disrupting my sleep, wrecking my concentration, and sending me from horrible depression to rapid, incomprehensible thoughts all in a day. And this has been going on for nearly two weeks, on and off. It’s been building. It was at least nice enough not to happen all it once. Tonight is the first time it clicked with me that those pesky neurotransmitters might be fighting with one another again.
The casualties so far have been work and school. I’ve missed more work hours than I could afford simply because I’ve either not been able to quiet my mind enough to focus or have been too depressed to even consider getting the job done. Right now, for example, I should be working. Instead, I’m staring straight ahead, mindless, and typing sentences way too many minutes apart.
At school, I just failed a test. It’s the second test I’ve ever failed throughout my academic career. The first happened the day after my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma. This one happened in the midst of my mind walking itself politely off the deep end. Now I’m not quite sure what to do. I’m allowing things to snowball. Catastrophising with the elite. It went like this: I’ve missed too many work hours, but there is financial aid money tucked away for things like this. But I failed that test. Does that mean I can’t finish the programme? Can I work nearly full time and attend a very intensive school programme full time as well? If not, how will I get a career? Master’s degrees are useless right now without further certifications. How can I move forward? What do I need to do to pull out of this rut? Have I got *time* to pull out of this rut, and so on ad nauseam.
I feel like Alice going down the rabbit hole. The world is descending into my madness. Last night, I thought I was being followed whilst driving home from my best friend’s house. I actually swerved off the road briefly trying to get away from the person who I thought was following me. Then, I passed a policeman and thought he might know something about me and would come after me, as well. In the moment, these things seem so real. Absolutely no one can convince me that they aren’t happening. Today, though, I see how out of touch I was.
Meds are a real problem. The atypical antipsychotics affect my blood pressure and heart really very, very badly. The bp gets dangerously low; the pulse gets dangerously high. Abilify made me have a seizure, and Geodon nearly gave me heart attack. I can stand Seroquel, but even at 200 mg, it makes me sleep for 12 hours and still drops my blood pressure. I take the absolute maximum dose of Lamictal, which has probably literally been a life saver for me. Something isn’t working, though. I realise that meds won’t stop every instance of mania, depression, or mixed episodes for those of us with Bipolar I Disorder, but I’d like to find something to at least take the edge off severe episodes whilst still allowing me to breathe and retain a heart rate. The psychiatrist is frustrated, I’m frustrated, and the therapist says the issue is just a chemical response to trauma.
Let’s place DID and SRA back into it and give a technical term– the internal kids say it’s icky. I can’t argue with that.