Friday, January 20, 2017

DRUGSSSSS for BIPOLARARARRR :: January 2017

Everyone has a hobby!
Lately, my daily way to amuse myself is to clean my room. Easily an hour a day. The doctors aren't thrilled by my habits (obsessive habits, as they saw it, make 'em raise an eyebrow) but I'm having a blast!

Today my focus is my top drawer which hosts all of my hair care, face care, first aid, tooth care, menstrual cycle gear, and medications #ilivewith10otherpeoplesoikeepthatstuffinmydresserdrawer.

I came across all the meds they tried me on for bipolar. Two observations on this.

Before that, just noting that I've been, on spurts, been medicated since I was perhaps 12? I had ADHD which was well managed with pills. I remember Adderal, Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, and Straterra. Daytrana was the best one! It was a patch and was super effective but the adhesive left welts on my body.

Now, with a new diagnosis comes a whole new slew of medications.

The first one they put me on is lithium. That stuff is magic and works! Nothing else has been as effective. I was also on oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), fluoxetine (Prozac), and escitalopram (Luxapro).

What's been most effective, to go with lithium, hasn't been more drugs is lifestyle choices and supplements.

I have to get outside, see the sun, get plenty of sleep, and operate in a routine.

For supplements, L-theanine, fish oil, and D3 have been the key to everything. This was made clear this past week. A week or two, I stopped taking my supplements completely (because I hadn't refilled my pill organizer so in the morning, I would just pop a lithium and run). Then, everything crumbled, a bit. I was all over the place with my mood and definitely felt depressed at time.



Because I have been medication, it catches me off guard when I am all of a sudden depressed. This time, the symptoms were mostly exhaustion. I was so sure I had the flu that I had to cancel work for a morning. Texting was overly exhausting.

Then, at dinner, I brought up how I wasn't doing well and our house-highschooler brought up vitamin D. *facepalm* I realized that that was the only change in my life, no supplements.

I did go to my psychiatrist (good to check in with her) and we decided I would have myself get back into routine with supplements, see how that went, and if it doesn't, I have 2.5 mg of a new med to try out. I also keep going to my support group 'cause they make the world go round.

Life's ok. It'll get better. Just give me a week.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Back to Routine :: Emphasis on Nighttime


I'm glad the winter break is over. With break comes the destruction of all routines that hold thing together. I thrive with bed times, wake up times, ways to pay for living, and a pattern to navigate life with (it's a fun pattern).

Bedtime is most crucial to me, right after sleep. It's important to have a space that feels relaxing, welcoming, and cozy. A clean room helps with my quality of sleep.

Right before Christmas, I changed rooms in the house I live in. I moved up story and the dimensions of the room increased immensely. I basically live in a deliciously cute attic room.

I was absolutely in love with my old room and tend to be resistant to changes (when set in a way) so I had to deliberately set my energy to making this new space feel like a home I wanted to be in. It's absorbed a few hours of my time each day for the past week and a house.

It's the constant adjustment of lights, furniture, hooks, pillows plants, and ways to sort things out. I love organizing, so this is a fun new challenge. My last room had a huge closest with storage above and below the clothing, no such closest here, so all must be externally stored. With the floor space available, very doable.

It's been fun to see a need (such a place to hang towels or a maroon cloth covering for a Rubbermaid tote I've been dragging back and forth from Alaska and all over since 2012.

I'm grateful for housemates (Steve and Jan!) who went out of their way to help me transition. I really appreciate them.

Now I feel like I have a really special place that feels like a home.

Essential to my nights are a hot water bottle with a cozy for it that Hannah made. I sleep with it ever single cold night. I tried not to, the other night, and had to get up and make one. I also need my white noise machine. I feel cozy underneath the thick wool blanket Joey gave me for Christmas and a huge hand-stitched quilt my great great Aunt (or someone that is great great) made. I like cozy pjs and socks and lately, diffused essential oils make everything smell hella good. A cup of one of those teas that knocks me out is good (Sunset in Seattle, Evening in Missoula, Bedtime Tea, etc).

The End

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I Don't Know How Pink Relates to Suicide -- I guess they just picked a colour


I like the hashtags in this one.

For sure, this year, I was ready for things to end a few times. In my circumstances, it was a result of off kilter brain-chemistry.

I've been doing fine, lately (and I'm glad I'm here), but I know that in the future I might not be and that I'll have to work through that. I also know I have friends who aren't "fine" right now and this is for them. The feeling of wanting to end your life is overwhelmingly isolating. A huge comfort this year was in one of those moments, I reached out to one friend and his immediate reply was, "I know." And he did.

Thanks to my support team! There are three specific folks who helped me with the darker thoughts this year --  my mom, is my number one go to (now I'm crying) and I'm grateful that she still comforts me just as much now, as her grown-up 26 year, as she did when I was a child. I also know that I can always call Eric, whom I've known since kindergarten, and Joey and, without fail, they will respond in love, compassion and wisdom. My overall support team spans larger than this but, in the darker moments, these folks were on speed dial.
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