Roller coaster, anyone?

As I mentioned on Las Flacas blog, the past two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.

I’m not sure what’s going on; I have been pretty consistent with my meds, but my emotions are all over the place.

Crying one minute, setting up a profile on a dating site and flirting with strangers online the next.

I got up enough courage (or mania or something) to re-enter an old hobby with other people in it (most of my hobbies are solo pursuits).

The public areas of my apartment are cleaner than usual, but still not where I would like them, but I’ve let them go a bit in the last few days.

I’m behind on things I want and need to do, but I’ve knit more than half a dozen star-shaped cotton cloths (I’m really obsessed with this pattern in a self-striping yarn because it comes out looking so cool!)

Seriously, don’t they look cool? And every one is slightly different, even when I use the same yarn because each skein starts in a different place on the color pattern.

  Self-striping yarn from Sugar n’ Cream.

(And if anyone wants one, let me know. I can’t sell them because it’s totally someone else’s pattern, but I’ll send you one if you want. They can be used as a dishcloth, wash cloth, altar cloth or any number of other things. I would NOT use them as a hot pad or pot holder though; they are not thick enough for that.)

Anyway. . . . that’s my mind lately: either mindlessly performing a simple task or bouncing around and not able to concentrate at all.

If it continues, I may have to contact my pdoc and have meds adjusted. But I also did not lift for 10 days, and it’s possible my body was getting used to the exercise and the sudden stop screwed up some hormones or other brain chemicals. Now that I’m lifting again, maybe it will all calm down?

Medication Discovery

While my daughter is visiting family back east, I’ve been working on getting some stuff organized in the apartment.

Today, I started going through my old medicine bottles. I’m a little freaked out.

I know that I’m not always “good” about taking my meds. Sometimes I skip a dose (or three). For several months, I only took half of the anti-depressant I was supposed to take. I’m *usually* good about the mood stabilizer, because I find it difficult to sleep without it. My prescription for that is “one or two as needed” and most of the time, I only take one. I only take two if I’ve have trouble sleeping for a few nights.

I’ve also got anti-anxiety meds that are supposed to be on an “as needed” basis. Since they are addictive, I very rarely take them.

Then there’s the vitamins, calcium with vitamin D and iron pills (all prescriptions). And the allergy nose spray, and the new prescription nose spray that’s supposed to stop my nose from running. . .

Is it any wonder I didn’t want to go back on birth control pills? Sheesh, I’ve got a lot of meds.

Anyway, I was going through, consolidating half-full bottles and the like*, and found unopened bottles from 2009, 2010 and last year. Holy crap! No wonder my mood states had been all over the place! I’ve been “better” about taking them since about the time I started working on fitness, but still skip the vitamins and such quite a bit.

This is just yet another area where self-discipline comes into play.

If I’m not disciplined enough to take my medications regularly, which I know help me with other parts of my life, how can I be disciplined in other ways?

I was talking to my high school BFF the other day and one of the things we talked about was having a clean and organized house. Neither one of us has been good about that for some time. She grew up in a very organized home. My home wasn’t as organized, but my step-father really, really tried to make it so.

There have been times that I can vaguely remember that I was much more organized. Particularly when I had this small apartment in Chula Vista, after my ex left. Things had been chaotic for several months (including having several roommates), and I reveled in having my own space, with my own things, organized in a way I wanted. That was the most organized and clean place I’ve ever lived. I liked having people over. I didn’t have much to be embarrassed about. I even had a party there. It was a bit non-traditional (I didn’t have a couch and only one chair in the living room), but it was mine. Once a week, I did a deep clean, and it wasn’t hard because everything else was mostly ok.

I miss that place.

Even when my daughter was small, I was better about things than I am now, particularly after I got rid of the (then) deadbeat roommate (who has apparently turned out to be a really good guy).

I was writing in my journal** and talked about how I would sometimes “clear the decks”. By that I mean I would clean, organize, throw stuff out, make things fresh. I was always like that. Things would get out of control, and then I would spend a whole day clearing the decks. Even that was better than what I have in place now (i.e. chaos).

It made sense, when I was working full-time, running the tutoring business AND going to grad school. But since January, I haven’t had that excuse and I still haven’t done more than casual cleaning and the stuff that HAS TO get done.

I have gotten into a fairly good routine with working out. Now, I need to make sure I’m taking my meds the way I’m supposed to and get other routines into place. When I start working again, I’m going to need those routines.

*If I misplaced the current open bottle, I know I have more, and so just crack open another one. Yes, I’m really that disorganized.

**I swear I’ve done more writing in the last two or three days than I have in the last three years. Am I manic?

The Other Me

I’m reading Carrie Fisher’s The Best Awful. Since I tend to read several books at a time, this has been my lunchtime reading, so I’m taking it slow.

Honestly, as a book, the writing is not what I would normally enjoy. The book is written in third person, but it’s centered on the main character, Suzanne. If you heard of or watched the movie (or read the book) Postcards from the Edge, the book is about the same character.

There are a lot of parallels between Carrie Fisher’s life and Suzanne’s. They both have a show business mother that’s a little larger than life, they both had an acting career when young, they both suffered a breakdown and changed careers, while still being sort-of in in the business.

Anyway, in this book, her marriage is over because her husband fell in love with a man. Her alcoholism and drug addiction is long in the past. She has a 6 year old daughter, and she’s taking her bipolar medication in order to provide a stable life for her daughter.

Until a well-known producer dies. As she’s on her way to the funeral, her best friend says, “You haven’t done anything interesting in ages!”

Somehow, that leads her to seduce an aging Hollywood bad boy at the funeral.

Shortly after that, she decides to seduce a young personal trainer guy she calls “Thor”. In order to do so, she cuts back on a couple of her medications.

The relationship doesn’t last long, but soon, she’s stopped taking her meds altogether.

After that, it gets fun.

As a book, it’s not the kind of thing I would normally read, and I don’t really like it. On the other hand, as insight into what happens in a bipolar person’s head when they stop taking their meds, it is brilliant. Watching as she justifies the steps she’s taking and lies to the people trying to help her and gets more wild with each passing day.

One of the things I can really relate to is that she has a name for her manic self. She calls her manic self Lucrezia (as in Lucrezia Borgia).

I think the reason I can relate to this naming is that I feel that my manic self was not really me. I know I did certain things, but it never felt like it was really *me* doing those things. The real me sits at home with a book or knitting while watching tv.  The real me is socially awkward, and completely geeky. The real me is sensitive to other people.

Manic me is self-centered, childish, impulsive, drunk, slut.

It just doesn’t feel like the same person at all.

I think that’s why even though I don’t like the writing, I can relate to this book.