I’m a Rapid Cycler, You know, just FYI

It’s 5:43am CST and I’m watching a crappy horror movie in which a dead guy is playing basketball with his severed head. My behavior tonight led me to wonder if I was having a manic episode, and I am! See if you agree with me:

Once I got the inkling that I was I did some bullet points. Racing thoughts, irritation/agitation, unwise financial choices, decreased need for sleep, easily distracted, increased need to accomplish a million goals, increased libido and blurt out stupid crap and talk really fast from topic to topic which has nothing to do with anything…Thinking back now I’m glad I can go back and tell Chris that it was just me being manic and I’m not actually diminishing in intelligence. There were a few little spurts there in the car with him in which I almost felt like my mouth was out of control and I was really embarrassed after.

This is the longest episode I’ve had this year. It’s been almost a month of this crap. While I was laying in bed thinking about how I had about two hours before I needed to get up and shower and I realized I have way more energy than I should have. I figured the sleep problems might be hormones. In fact I pretty much brushed off everything except the excessive spending on hormones. My schedule gets off pretty often, but the extra energy was the tip off. I’m guessing stress was the trigger.

So…if I have energy and spare time before my day begins why just lay in bed? So I got up and moved some heavy furniture by myself. I still have one more piece to move but I’d probably make too much noise if I did it at this hour. I’ve been in an obsessive pre-decorating for Christmas zone. All the furniture moving is to make room for the tree.

I feel like I disassociate a little with my feelings over admitting I’m having a manic episode. I do it every time too. I feel a little anger too, because in my opinion ‘ordinary’ people think mania is something different than it is, maybe even something more dangerous than it can be. And don’t get me wrong, mania can get dangerous, but I’m not going to hurt you or your kids or your dog. I feel like people think that.

For anyone wondering, my interview went well, at least I think so. It was about a 40 minute endeavor in which benefits were explained to me and I got a tour of the facility. Training is three months so as nervous as I am about learning my job well enough to do it myself I feel more confident knowing it would be a consistent thing to get used to over an extended period of time. I’ll likely find out Monday my friend and I are thinking, if I’ve nabbed the job. The interviewer said she wanted to call my references and then call me back.

At least for the moment, I don’t mind being in manic-mode. Nothing horrific has come from it thus far, and I’m getting plenty done. Before I plummet into the impending depression that will likely follow, I’d like to get a whole bunch more stuff done. I love that “accomplished” feeling.

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Here’s to Hope

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October 26, 2014: Barbie, it’s been a week you should write your next blog post. -My Mind

November 2, 2014: Barbie, this is your OCD speaking, I’m about to smother you with obsessive thoughts if you don’t write, you’re overdue. -My Mind

November 3, 2014: Barbie, I’m going to overload your stomach area with anxiety that will make you so full you won’t be able to move if you don’t blog right now. -My Mind

November 5, 2014, you’re going to lose all your followers and fall into an abyss of depression if you don’t blog. -My Mind

November 7, 2014: Barbie, you have anxiety about blogging? You have no job and plenty of free time? Your life is so hard. -My Mind

November 8, 2014: Barbie, I’m just trying to help motivate you here. -My Mind

That’s pretty much how it goes after a week of not being on top of my blogging. It’s part of my routine, so if I eff it up I punish myself. It’s not like I’m shy on material either. Right now I even have good news for once. I have a shot at a job as a Developmental Trainer working with the developmentally handicapped.

Duties include:

  • Lead group/individual activities to maximize active programming
  • Communicate client needs to appropriate contact person
  • Monitor and supervise clients throughout the day
  • Assist with client morning routines and door monitoring as assigned
  • Provide intervention for client maladaptive behaviors as trained and assigned
  • Assist clients with Activities of Daily Living
  • Facilitate core groups and assist with choice groups

The thing is, I haven’t heard back from the HR lady yet for a phone screening or interview. My friend from school said they need to fill this position ASAP (this was last Wednesday). I immediately sent my resume and because it’s a full-time M-F job I had to tell the mother of the kids I nanny for that if I get this job, I won’t be able to sit on Thursdays anymore. This was both devastating for me and her. She knew in January my class was starting and I wouldn’t be able to sit anymore, but this was much more abrupt. That’s how serious I am about getting this job, so much so that I’m not threatening my ability to get the job by trying to negotiate a “can’t work on Thursday’s” schedule. I know that wouldn’t be possible, and this is a job in my field. That’s a big deal.

On Thursday my friend said she hadn’t seen the HR lady around but she’d send an e-mail or leave a message with the secretary. I felt so glad to hear that. Also, after I was done putting the kids to bed on Thursday night the dad came home and told me he’s crossing my fingers I get this job and that they’ll figure it out. This isn’t my career after all. It lifted so much weight off of my shoulders. I’m already feeling anxiety and jealousy about another babysitter coming in to replace me. I did say I would visit weekly to see the kids, I just don’t want them loving this person the way they love me because I’m selfish and scared and need the love of the three little kids I’ve raised for nearly 4 years like my own. Before I’m harshly criticized, I do know that this is just an immediate feeling I need to get off my back and that I’m sure I’ll come around as I see things aren’t as bad as I thought they would be.

Friday came and went without word from the HR lady. Saturday I got a message from my friend asking if I’d heard anything from her. When I said no she replied with, “I’ll figure it out.” The support in her trying to get me into this job is just incredible. I’m holding my breath over the weekend and hoping Monday I’ll hear from this woman. I’m hoping then this week I’ll have an interview, and that by next week I’ll have a job (even if I don’t start for a week or two). That’d be ideal, but we’ll see. I’ve gotten my hopes up over jobs before this year and my dreams have crashed and burned, but this is honestly the best one to come along and the one I’m desperate to reel in.

Maybe some of my depression will lift after I start working, and though I’m AWFUL with change in both my routine and generally in life (it’s so upsetting it physically hurts) I know that once I start a new routine I’ll be feeling more confident. Working part-time was always stressful because my routine would be a two-parter. Not working life and then working life and the transitions the days coming before work would give me mounds of anxiety that would manifest physically and ruin my free time.

I would say lately as far as general mental health goes, I’ve been having some problems managing my OCD, but been pretty stable with my Bipolar Disorder. Thank god. I think that one’s a little worse to deal with. I do still need to schedule an appointment with a new psychiatrist and soon. 

Remember the dog I was taking care of for a long time until I had a falling out with the owner last winter? Well he passed away last week. I wrote out a sympathy card with some serious sentinses…I hope that I can talk myself into putting it into her mailbox very quietly tomorrow sometime.

Maybe now that this is out of my system I can experience some relief.

Dark Places

The physical manifestation of darkness begins about a centimeter behind the skin where the top of ones nose meets the forehead. It’s a dizzy empty feeling that’s concentrated in one spot, but that has a speckled aura. It’s as though electrons are circling the atom. A tiny spot of energy that could erupt into something curious and dangerous spontaneously.

I spent the week as ‘Up Girl’ and ‘Down Girl’ resulting in my father asking me on my ‘up’ day if I had changed my medication because suddenly I was productive, up early and in a good mood. Unfortunately that was only for one day and since then I’ve been a mope whose been outrageously productive, but miserable.

My obsessive thoughts are crawling their way back into my waking life. It’s been a while since I’ve lived in terror of something. Currently I’ve got an intense fear that house centipedes or spiders are crawling into my food and drink while I’m not looking or sitting in the dark or another room. I split a salad with my dad the other day, who works from home, and got a call just as I was fixing his plate. Instead of leaving it when I was finished I stood there for about five minutes watching it to make sure nothing crawled in from the counter. I got aggravated and wrapped the plate with plastic wrap like a mummy and went about the rest of my day. Gotta love OCD.

Story time – In the beginning: Unease

Yesterday I went to see the movie Gone Girl. It’s based off the novel by Gillian Flynn which I’ve read and what really made the movie so well done was that she wrote the screenplay. I had to fight my inner impulsive twelve-year-old girl who wanted to excuse myself and leave without any explanation. Everything I said and giggled at was forced. I was a world-class actress.

During: Situation

Chris,  his sister and her husband and his mom and step-dad all attended the movie with me. It was planned earlier in the week and I was looking forward to it. Then Chris’ attitude took a drastic dip a few days ago. We haven’t spoken more than a few words electronically in three days now. As we met up at the movie, he didn’t look at me once. It feels like something isn’t right. Something so big it would spin me out of control and make me yearn for the comfort of the hospital. I can smell the excitement of another woman on him, the faint scent of the burning that will char my soul if it’s true. Something new and exciting to distract him from his miserable mundane life. It just reeks of something he’s feeling guilty about. Something he knows that if I know, will hurt me. Maybe he’s putting it off, maybe he’s figuring out a way to say it. Maybe it’s nothing at all.

In the end: Instability

I was so emotionally withdrawn and physically distressed because of the tension in the air (I had my arms folded and squeezed myself so tight I lost feeling in my fingers by the end) that after I peeled away in the parking lot and got into my car I was able to breathe again. I wasn’t feeling myself though. I was more withdrawn than I have been in ages. The ride home was like a lucid dream. As I pulled up to my quiet street I felt a surge. It’s something I’ve felt before, the physical manifestation of darkness. It fed on my emotions and before I knew it I punched the gas and glided down the side of the street with no parked cars, it was inviting. I took a left turn down another street without knowing for sure if another car was coming (which was grossly exciting and something risky I wanted to try), then another left, and another, letting go of the gas entirely and feeling the car slow. After my little fit of idiocy was over I parked and went inside, feeling that my impulses had been fulfilled.

Today I’ve been lethargic and mild mannered.

Semi-Spoilers of Gone Girl psyche:

I wondered on the way home last night if Amy Elliot Dunne of Gone Girl was just manipulative and selfish or if she was mentally ill. If so, what? Could I see myself in a manic state doing what she did? Would I even need to be in a manic state if I was that devoted to my own cause?  I surely can see myself having the thoughts. Everyone I know with bipolar or obsessive compulsive disorder (of which I myself have both) have had what I will casually call ‘insane’ thoughts whether or not they want them or would truly go through with them (at some point or another of their mentally ill career). Have you? If I were to be able to psychoanalyze Amy as a professional would I have empathy? I think in any case she’s brilliant and a survivor. Dangerous though? Any insight is welcome via comment (marked spoiler) or e-mail. You are some very intelligent and insightful bloggers, and I’d love to hear your opinions.

Carve Your Heart Out Yourself

My dad was vacuuming the stairs when I told him I wanted to switch majors from marketing to psychology. He made a joke of it at the time and I felt miserable. Now I wonder of its the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.

This isn’t the first night I’ve lost sleep over how long it’s taken me to finish my undergraduate degree, but it is the first which I’ve posed that particular thought. I spent the past five-ish years just destroying my life, not doing well in school because of ADHD or Bipolar episodes or that HORRIBLE year long agoraphobia which kicked it all off. I basked in hiding and avoiding and got really good at it. When it came out that I completely SCREWED myself no one was happy, but I was forgiven by my immediate family (The extended family is still wondering wtf my problem is). Watching my GPA fall for no good goddamn reason other than I’m a complete mentally ill screw-up (Chris likes to point out how bad I am at life which doesn’t help my self-hatred) the past few years has been heartbreaking.

I just worked up the courage to do something I’ve been avoiding for nearly a year: e-mailing my school councilor in the department to see if I can make an appointment and see what I have left to graduate. I did it a couple times over a year ago and then ended up getting too terrified to go to those appointments. I’m PRETTY SURE it’s just the Capstone project and the senior lab class…but they both give me insane anxiety. Firstly, I wasn’t properly trained for the SPSS program that gets used in the lab class and I’m terrified it’ll screw me over and secondly I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do for my Capstone. I looked into what classes I would need to finish my undergrad in Anthropology (my minor) or Marketing, but I seem to have several classes left to complete for either. Shit, I was amazing at History in community college, I should have gone into that. I wouldn’t have a Capstone to complete in any of those fields. This fucking Capstone is eating at my insides. Just the IDEA of it has been haunting me the past couple years.

I spent this semester off looking for a job. Well, I’m still unemployed. I have a phone interview coming up for a position as a Behavioral Therapist at an entry level which is INSANELY AWESOME but I’m so run down from being shot down from all the jobs I’ve had interviews with that I feel like there’s no reason to get my hopes up. It won’t stop me from doing my best to get the job though. Being a therapist for autistic children or troubled youth has been something I’ve felt would be rewarding and I’ve been trying to get into. I figured with my degree I’d work my way into being a high school psychologist.

I think maybe I should be able to sleep now getting all that out. All I want to do is win the lottery and never have to think about all this pressure to graduate and make a legitimate living for myself as soon as possible. Some days it feels like I just want to be dead so I don’t have those problems, but I’ve learned that I really don’t want to die, so by default I’m screwed…

The Chronicles of Barbie-a

There are few times my chemically unstable behaviors cause me to feel embarrassed because I seem crazy, but when I have a manic laughing fit, that’s damn well one of them. It’s like touching a cursed object. Maybe rubbing your hand against a crooked chicken foot or being subject to a centuries old witches toenail having dissolved in your Diet Coke. It was a couple weeks ago it last happened, and I wasn’t in a full blown manic episode either, I was just having a spike of imbalance I guess you could say. I was laughing so hysterically and I couldn’t put an end to it. I ended up feeling so out of control that I left the room I was lounging with Chris in and stuffed a pillow over my face. I wasn’t gasping for breath because I was suffocating myself with that pillow, I was gasping for breath because I couldn’t stop laughing. I spent time trying to put my mind in static mode, not think of anything and calm my body down, but the hint of any thought triggered more laughter. When it wore out its course I was relieved, but frustrated.

It’s another night where I held down the power button for my brain and the mind-computer didn’t shut off. My sleep schedule continues to suffer from irregularity without the added Seroquel to my chemical diet. I may use the Ritalin I use sparingly to keep myself up tomorrow so I can tire out in the evening and sleep at a regular time. Hopefully this month I should be able to get back on the dose I was on, and perhaps bump it up for the next month if need be. It may help aid me in mending my social life as well. It took a major toll when I dropped the drug. In fact, I isolated so hard without meaning to, that one of my best friends blew up at me a few days ago when I apologized for being absent. I’ve clammed up this past two months more so than ever in my distress about where life has landed me. Even when I feel I should speak up for myself I just swallow it down to the pit of my stomach and after a few hours or a nights rest it disappears. Metabolizes or something. Who knows, but I’m getting good at it, and that’s not a positive thing. We nearly ended our friendship right then and there, and if I hadn’t have said “I’m sorry” later that night out of guilt for going into a defensive stance and raging back at her, we’d probably have cut ties entirely. It’s easy to cut ties. Even children’s scissors could slice those ribbons.

The OCD is kicking up a little too lately, it’s the stress. Whenever I’m overwhelmed with things my obsessive thoughts take the stage. The reoccurring one I’ve had for years has resurfaced, which is that I’m terrified there will be a spark from an outlet like in a Final Destination movie and my house will go down in flames. Even repeating it for you now makes me uneasy. I also imagine myself losing all of my teeth one by one in a single sitting. I’ve also been obsessively cleaning and utterly disgusted when I come home and find something out of place, a shopping bag plopped down by the door, the shoes out of their neat line…

On the job front, I’m frustrated, but working hard at it. I’m sick of feeling like a bum. I have an opportunity to work as a Behavioral Therapist for an autistic child(ren) 10 hours a week, the woman I spoke with over the phone was interested in me, in fact she said the only thing that’ll be rough to do to get me going in this position is to find a family that would be a good match. I don’t have a ton of experience with low functioning children on the spectrum, so looking for high functioning kids may be a bit of a search, and hopefully for my own sake they find someone soon, because I really want this job. Always room to move up and take on other cases with more experience as well. What more could you ask for working in your field, and with children? That’s what I love to do.

It feels good to blog. It really does. If I wasn’t such a clam I’d be doing it more often.

Being an Adult

For the past month I’ve been looking for a grown up job. I’ve been through retail, been a cashier at a pool, a lunch lady, and a dog sitter and nanny. As I’ve grown I’ve realized I love taking care of kids, and though I want to help those of us who suffer from mental illness, maybe I should have gone into education. It’s a thought that’s hard to face. Have I been wasting time and money? What is my true calling? Who am I supposed to be? You know, grown up questions.

I’m wrestling a migraine at the cop dogs house pet sitting. It was a dry month for pet sitting. I recently had an interview at a group home which went really well, in fact they want me to come in for a third interview, but it’s not the job for me. Why? There’s no way I can deal with the stressful responsibility of driving a bus of disabled people to places I’m not familiar with as one of my job duties.

So I keep looking for jobs. I can’t wait out until next spring to take my last class doing nothing. This is the age to start my career (26). I just got an opportunity to come interview for an autism school as a behavioral therapist. I feel like they’ll hire someone more experienced, but I would be proud to tell people that’s what I do if I were to be hired.

I even applied for a position as a seasonal zookeeper. With my anthropology background I feel like I have a small shot at the job. I’ve been daydreaming about preparing lunches for primates or cleaning up zebra poo after hours.

Aside from the nerve wracking job search and soul searching, I’ve been suffering emotionally without Seroquel. I’ve been off it about a month because I couldn’t afford it. Also, the dose wasn’t high enough anymore. It used to regulate my sleep, and eventually lost its effect. I’m dreading having to pay for a doctor’s visit this month, but I need to talk to her to get back on the mental health horse. I honestly feel like a zombie, and it’s put stress on my social life.

Friends, I hope you’re all doing better than I am, and I hope to report some more positive findings soon.

Nothing I Care To Deal With Right Now

To go back to a subject I prior touched upon a few blog posts ago, I was dogsitting for a woman I’ve dogsat for for YEARS. I’ve always done an A+ job and I love that dog more than any other. He’s recently been diagnosed with cancer and while I was sitting for him I called the vet because he was having constipation followed by accidents in the kitchen. The vet assumed it was his diet change that his owner had started and told me to feed him rice and make sure he was acting like himself. Well. He had gone upstairs while I was sleeping and pooped in one of the upstairs bedrooms. I didn’t smell anything nor was I aware he’d even think about going upstairs because he’s 11 and a half and doesn’t like doing stairs much anymore. When the owner came home the day after she sent me a rough message about ‘how could I let this happen’ and ‘I don’t even know what to say to you’ after I had apologized profusely and melted down.

Now we come to today. I was planning on waiting a couple weeks and asking her how the dog was. Instead I get a message from her about five minutes ago telling me “Taz is fine now. I know you meant well, but when you neglect you own well-being every thing else declines. If you’d showered, you would have seen the mess.” followed by some other “and another thing” statements. I was insulted she wouldn’t even think to ask if I had stopped home to shower and change clothes. So apparently I’m a disgusting piece of shit who does a bad pet sitting. So right now I’m speaking very emotionally. I don’t care if she ever hires me again. I’m far too insulted and humiliated from all the bullshit she’s spat at me the past two weeks to ever even want to see her again. Likely I’ll change my mind, but right now I’m pissed. And now I have to talk in my last day of group therapy tomorrow about this situation because I’m internalizing the situation all over again but now that no dog sitting job I’ll ever do will be good and I should quit doing it entirely. That’s how I feel right now. And I’m supposed to sit for a new client this coming week so I’d better adjust my thought reframe.

On another note, It was bittersweet leaving Sunny’s house. I tutored his kids for the 2 hours and Sunny didn’t pop his head in the room like he normally does, he didn’t come home until 7:30 and I was there from 6-8:30 annnddd they actually PAID ME ON TIME which was great, the mom was there too and the whole family made me sit down and eat cold taco bell and they also had me try some korean veggie thing that was fried and she sent me home with ‘starter’ chopsticks and seaweed. Every one of them hugged me and said that I raised their grades and that if at any time I can come back even if it’s not regular to help tutor them they’d like that and they said maybe we can go out to eat for Justin’s birthday which is in April, Justin was asking his dad if it was okay and Sunny was like ‘any time any time’ so it was cute. Much better than I expected. only thing that killed me was my back in that crappy chair they have to sit on in their room.

Lastly, I’m babysitting for 6 hours today, getting paid $30 when I should be paid $10/hour but since they’re friends of mine I haven’t opened my mouth yet to challenge anything because I don’t want to challenge our RELATIONSHIP. I’ve been babysitting for three years…The last time we had a falling out about what I should be getting paid I didn’t see the kids for months and only when I apologized for making waves in the waters did we mend our relationship. I don’t want to go through that again but I spend about $10 in gas and $2 in tolls going there and back every week. Their argument could be that when Tony was out of a job I came by every week just to visit, and didn’t get paid anything, so why not just accept what they’re paying me? My therapist and group think it’s unfair and that I should approach them about the situation. Unfortunately, I’m not mentally capable of facing that conversation tonight. It’s been a long day, and now I got the comment from Suzanne which has put me in a horrible mood.

Thanks for reading. I wanted to hold off to blog until tomorrow, my last day of day hospital, but this just got me up in arms.