Raeyn/Virginia is a 30-something mother to two, wife to another, and slave to two feline masters labouring under that fun old ball and chain known as Bipolar II. She felt that sharing her experiences with bipolar would be the best use of blog here.
I have been rubbish about checking in here… sorry about that. But like, most of my problems these days have been physical rather than mental. Even with having been putting up with a bullying situation in my social group, the stress and upset in response to that has been minimal and within ‘normal’ tolerance.
My body, on the other hand, is fired. My chronic fatigue levels are so high that I don’t really manage to blog anything but my daily blog. That includes reading other blogs — I still care, but I don’t have the spoons to act on it really. I can wish for a miracle and hope that it will improve somehow, but I’ve been dealing with it for 21 years, and it tends to keep getting worse. Add in my back pain, which has existed nearly as long (and since I was a stick figure of a teenager), and I’ve got the walking stick style down pat.
I still would say I have a pretty good quality of life though. I still get my knitting and gaming done. I still get my ‘required’ daily writing done. I don’t murder the children, I am productive at work — but all of that takes most of what I have. I can’t say that I’m regretful or upset though, because like… that’s wasting spoons I don’t have. I certainly hope that it comes around (see paragraph previous, redux, blah blah blah).
So, what does it mean for around here? I don’t know. I’m not closing down the blog or the network, even if they’re both getting neglected. I firmly believe that both are still important, and it’s more a matter of finding a way to work this space and you lovely people back in, because even if I’m not wasting time on regret, I still miss you folk. But we’ll see.
I thought I would make a point to check in. I’m still alive. I’m still mainly doing well. I’m still waiting to hear back on that ADHD referral. I’ve had very mild spots of depression the last couple of weeks, but that’s a combination of little niggling things atop the severity of my chronic fatigue. I’ve had chronic fatigue since I was 14 (so over 20 years now), and my efforts to try to make it better/more manageable continue to fall on deaf ears. As a result, my non-daily blogs (and the network) have taken the brunt of my lack of spoons. I’m still here, I still care — I just don’t have the ability to turn that into executable actions. And even if I did manifest more spoons out of the blue, getting the youngest from school is taking a toll (albeit a very cute one).
Having said that, if anyone ever drops me a line, I do try to respond to that… not that I’ve been checking my emails lately. Once again, it requires too much energy and effort I don’t have to be ‘professional’. That shit is draining, yo.
But rest assured — I’m alive, I’m pretty happy on the whole, and my life is as satisfying as I can manage within the bounds of my chronic illnesses. I hope the same goes for all of y’all out there.
The phone rang earlier today. It said private withheld, so I answered it; ninety nine times out of hundred, that means it’s someone working for the NHS calling. And it was — it was Dr. K. She was checking to see if I’d seen anyone since seeing her last, as that was quite a bit back now. I confirmed that I had, and was about due another appointment, but that I wasn’t too fussed because I’m doing well. She was happy to hear that, but it wasn’t the main reason she called…
She had called to ask if I’d heard anything in regards to my ADHD diagnosis referral. She’s been fighting tooth and nail to get that sorted for me for some time now, even though it’s not technically her job. It’s my GP’s job — referrals for that sort of diagnosis comes from GP surgeries. I’d given up on it ever coming through, but said it had been approved! She confirmed that she would continue to chase them up to make sure I was properly informed of what I needed to be doing, but man.
So much relief. Like, I was surprised by how much weight off of my shoulders it took off. I almost cried. I’ve been scatterbrained and unable to focus well since the call, because shit. I’ve been trying to get this through for years now, and have been grateful for Dr. K’s efforts on my behalf because it’s gotten a lot worse in the past year or two. Like ‘possible danger to myself and others’ levels, in my own opinion. So knowing that it’s moved that step closer to actually happening is just… well. You get the idea. I’m sure the husband will be happy to see it sorted too, if only so he can talk to me and know I’m not accidentally ignoring him, ha ha. It took until fairly recently for him to process that I wasn’t being intentionally rude. I wasn’t ignoring him. It wasn’t going in my head, but I was good at faking acknowledging faces because that’s part of coping with people and ADHD.
I just wanted to get it out of my head while it was fresh. I’ll make sure to share more when I know more.
[[radio edit]] Just to clarify — this is not the diagnosis. This is the *referral* for diagnosis. Yes, I know, I think it’s pretty dumb too, but that’s how it’s done here apparently. Never mind that my psychs can tell I have it, etc.
Well, starting with the ‘I’m still here, I’m alive’ is probably a good place. It’s the truth. Mentally I’m doing quite fine, though I’m worried about that. I’m not worried so much because I have a bad time of the year, or think that something bad is going to happen, but because mental health services locally are getting jostled around. I *think* that it won’t out and out affect me, but it still has me concerned. Between the UK government and the local council, they keep trying to ship out or shut down all of our local hospital services, never mind that doing that would leave a gaping hole preventing people from having relatively easy access to the A&E, children’s A&E, maternity, and so on.
Physical has been the main bitch, one part of which I am pretty sure Depakote is responsible for. My glasses broke, requiring me to default to glasses from four years ago, which meant we finally got off of our backsides and booked in for our slightly overdue eye tests. Oddly enough, my eyes got *better* on Depakote, which made the glasses I had too strong. When I was talking to the optometrist about it, I think that I can probably the fairly regular headaches on that. I know they’ve been even worse-er-er since having to use the old glasses. At least the new ones will be ready on Monday, so hopefully I can see that go past.
There’s also all the crap that hasn’t been fixed, and has probably been worsened by getting that Mirena IUD a few years back. My chronic fatigue is worse, my periods got weirder, my weight keeps going up… not that I mind being a fat girl, but I can’t do anything about it without risking my mental health. tl;dr trying to moderate that triggers some really severe fixating OCD and I end up fucking up allllll the layers of my health. It’s not worth it for something that has an almost guaranteed chance of failing in both the long and the short run (not to diss on those who prioritise this — we all live our lives as we see fit). So we’re going to book in to see about getting that sorted, and getting the husband’s vasectomy sorted out. That was always in the cards IUD or not. I just want to have a freaking physical quality of life. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable. ><
But yeah, use that as a sign as to how solid my mental is. Even feeling worn down and foggy and achy and miserable in those regards, I feel sane and happy for the most part. There’s a few people in my limited social group that are rubbing against me and triggering some anxiety, but I can almost take it on the chin. Family things are great — my parents are still out of my life (3 years and counting!), while my family here is all good. I’m still happily engaged in my hobbies (if not blogging about them quite as much as I mean to!), and doing a better job of keeping my daily blogging efforts going. Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t’ve split my blogging efforts so many ways, but it made sense at some point in the past. *chuckles*
Anyways, yo. Maybe some day I’ll feel spoony enough to get caught up on things like the network, and figuring out why some of the blogs aren’t percolating through. For now, dord.
By now, I suspect everyone who is reading this had heard the news about Carrie Fisher. If you haven’t — she died. It sucks. It REALLY sucks. I’ve already blathered about it elsewhere, but man like… *waves hands* It hurts. She was important to us Bipolaratti for being one of us, and for being out there and unashamed of it (I also admire this in Demi Lovato like woah). I’m actually kind of worried that I’m going to see some of my friends offing themselves in response. I seriously hope not, but like… of all the horrible, horrible deaths in 2016, and they have been legion, this is the one that hits closest to home for me. I called her Momma Carrie. I dreamed of meeting her and getting a hug. I sincerely believed that it would and could happen, as a lot of the Star Wars stuff is filmed local to me.
But really y’all, if you’re shaken up about this… reach out and talk to another bipolar friend. I don’t want us to lose any more of our folks right now. Even if bipolar didn’t get Carrie in the end, she was still one of us. :/
That aside, I’m mainly doing well. I pray that remains the case, as once again they’re threatening to close the psych ward I go to. My most local friend commented that they’ve been threatening to close it the entire nine years she’s been down here, but still. It affects her *slightly* less than it affects me. I’m just going to have to yanno, keep optimistic about it, I guess. As said, I’m doing mainly well. My biggest issue has been insomnia, but that has been mitigated by reintroducing one of my childhood stuffed animals to my bed. Not gonna lie — give absolutely no fucks about what anyone thinks about that. It helps. And makes me smile, because the name I gave that poor rabbit when I was little — George Jefferson Rainbow Brite Bunny Rabbit. I named him when I was five or so… you can probably guess what my favourite shows on television were at the time. Yes, I was weird even then, ha ha.
Right, I’m off. Just trying to make sure everyone knows I’m here and alive and like… stuff.
It’s cold here. But not cold enough to snow. Ergo, the cold is unconscionably rude. *nodnods* It doesn’t help that I also *have* a cold. Having a cold always makes me feel like a whiny wimp, ha ha.
I’d forgotten to mention in my last post another localised drama we had been dealing with. Someone had reported us to the GP as having a dirty home and locking our kids up, which had to be passed on anonymously to the council. So we had a multi-agency council investigation opened up on us because of it; that includes the cops, social workers, youth services, the schools, and health services. The formal investigation was closed the day after it was opened because, oh hey, nothing to hide whatsoever and wtf to whomever filed the concern-trolling. But because the youngest child’s last check-up hadn’t been put into the system yet (easily found when we pointed out the date), they were a teense concerned that she’d not been seen in awhile.
Obvs, she had, but anyways.
The end result was that a health visitor came to check in on us this week. It was a pleasant and productive enough conversation, considering that it was brought on by the worst sort of half-fabricated Chinese Whispers. I probably was way too candid about my life and times and why I wouldn’t put my children into a neglectful environment after my own childhood. Like, I came out of it feeling reassured and happy, which I certainly didn’t expect. The end result of that was getting their sleep expert to contact us to set up a date to talk ways to get the littlest to sleep on her own, but really… that is our sole ‘problem’ and has been the only ‘problem’ for some time. The tl;dr on that is that she’s a stubborn little miss and likes to sleep attached to one or both of us. We’re confident that she’ll move to sleeping on her own when she’s good and ready. In that, she’s the opposite of her sister; big sis did everything else when she was good and ready, but was an amazing sleeper from the start.
I’m annoyed because insomnia is sneaking back in. I’ve been having to dripfeed myself from my melatonin stash to try and help fight it since I got switched back to extended release Seroquel… when was that? March? Long enough that you’d think my body would quit trying to default to insomnia. Though having said that, it’s sort of resurfaced again the past week specifically, which could be a product of maybe-hypomania. I don’t feel particularly high, and I’m certainly not trying to do all (or really, any) of the things. I feel a bit rosy in the way that I associate with being ‘up’, but that’s about it — a very minor dredge of fuzzy warmth. That could feasibly be the end result of successful social interaction, happiness at catching up with my sisters recently, or just yanno, the fact I’ve got cute kids in the house.
I know, wah wah, poor Raesie has it pretty good as per relative norm. I don’t take it for granted though. I went through much too long of the baseline being shit + boozed + sleeping pilled + sleep paralysis + insecure schedule + you name it = soooooo soo not okay. If the worst that I deal with regularly is a bit of anxiety and depression on a Sunday night, I’ll take it (though I’ll admit I’d like to not have to deal with that either ¬¬).
Right, that’s enough word vom. Hopefully will continue this trying to get back into posting (and liking/commenting on peoples’ posts) more frequently habit!
I know, I haven’t been around here much. I went from not having much to say to having too much to say to just being super busy with life in general. The overarching picture continues to be good, though I had a period of a couple of weeks where I was crippled with anxiety and paranoia and sadness due to a negative interaction with a ‘friend’. The long and the short on that relationship is that I thought we had one where we could be candid with each other, and I was horribly, terribly wrong. It’s someone that I can’t avoid because she’s part of my meatspace social group, but at least I know now to smile blandly and not trust her.
The irony about that incident? It happened the day after my first psych appointment in a million years. I *think* I’m roughly pencilled in for like, February now. Hopefully things will be mainly good between now and then, though I am thinking I might ask whether or not I can get a prescription for some sort of benzo for spot anxiety. I’m normally fine, and yes, I ‘survived’ that stressful post-incident period, but my quality of life and level of functionality was very low.
I also started thinking about an aspect of my mental health life that I’d not though on much — delusions. I realised I had to admit to myself that I suffer from a few. The biggest one is that my brain is convinced I was married once before, and the reason nobody knew about it was that it was short-lived and I was ashamed and didn’t tell my friends. I know I wasn’t married before, but tell that to my brain. Similarly, I was convinced last week that my sister was engaged. I don’t know whether it was something that I had a dream about that stuck or not, but it was a relief that I was scheduled to Skype with her within a few days of that implanting in my head. Having her straighten that out ‘face to face’ was really good for getting that one in check.
That’s really the main bits, I guess. I’m here, I’m mainly doing well. And while, yes, I’ve been rubbish about blogging here regularly, I am blogging here daily. So if I’ve gone quiet here and any of y’all want to make sure I’m still going, there’s the quick and dirty way to check. I will try to get myself back into gear in regards to writing here, and *groan*, hopefully finally get around to sorting through accumulating Bipolar Blogger Network emails.
Last week, one of my friends was committed. It turned to to be totally voluntary and she’s out now, but the two people making the announcement about it were very thoughtless in their word presentation. One person said that my friend was asking for prayers ((because)) Satan was messing with her head, while the other said that my friend was ‘fighting for her life’. And then both of them were deleting comments and ignoring people making ‘angry’ comments when both of them had written highly inflammatory comments that scared the bulk of said person’s friends to death. Like, you don’t say someone is fighting for their life unless they’re dying, and more so when that person had expressed concerns for their actual physical safety.
The whole thing ended up a big nasty mess with a lot of people thinking that our friend had been committed against her will — because there was absolutely no consideration taken for the fact that most of my friend’s friends are neurodivergent like herself. I know here amongst the Bipolaratti and friends, we care deeply about our community, even the ones we might not like or be friends with. I was proud of everyone for the handling of Ulla’s death; it was caring and sensitive and above all empathetic. If those two people had actually taken a second to think about what they were saying and how they were handling it, it would have gone a lot way towards assuaging fears. In the end, it took one of our mutuals who runs a bit more to the NT side of life calling our friend at her care centre and confirming a few things, and the two of us disseminating it to her wider friend-base. I hope to be able to catch up with my friend soon, but I told her to drop me a line back when *she* felt like chatting about it. I’ll probably even apologise for the furious response I wrote before I had the facts, if only for how it could possibly discomfit her and her recovery.
What do you guys think? Have you had to deal with this sort of thing before, either as the patient or a friend? I’ve never been committed and will fight tooth and nail to because of stupid reasons, like not being able to knit or game, or losing my current daily blog posting streaks — 7 years on one, 3 and a half on another, and a few months on the public one. These are my self-care things, and sitting on my thumbs socialising when I’m massively introverted would not do good things for my personal healing and sanity. But I would hope that if I did end up having to go in-patient that my husband would be clear and open about it with my friends and family. But then, I don’t care who knows I have Bipolar or how it affects me, so.
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