aches and scrapes

When a family member has a mental illness, or any illness, frankly, it is important for the family to get educated. Read, talk, research and understand your loved one’s disorder,” said Laura Norman, the clinic’s chief development coordinator and communication specialist. “I cannot understate the important role family plays in getting help so a loved one gets healthy and stays healthy.
“It’s critical.”

(scheduled post)

Grief has been punching me in the face again lately, in the form of assault by tears. It’s the only way I can think of describing it, they come out of nowhere and leave me feeling winded. Instead of smiling wistfully at memories and reminders, I’m impaled on them. It doesn’t feel remotely cathartic, there’s no sense of relief afterwards, just desolation. All kind of crap is resurfacing, not only the obvious causes of grief. Since I’ve been instructed by my psychiatrist (and a former counsellor) not to focus on the past at all, I continue to distract myself from it all. Distraction good. Thinking bad. So much for Socrates, who said, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Sorry Socrates, I’d love to discuss it, but… Oh look ! A butterfly!

I’m walking on the beach twice a day at the moment. I’m reading, sewing, talking to people, doing chores, but still my own mind finds the time to slap me around. The three friends I have close by are inaccessible for now; one is in a new relationship, one is in another city and the other is in a solitary frame of mind. The other friends I have are too far to drive to until I feel a bit better. I talk to my dog and hug her; it does nothing to assuage the skin hunger. Far but close friends hug me virtually, but arms are better than asterisks. I had to reactivate facefuck to sort some app connections, but didn’t look at it till very recently. Then the notifications began to freak me out, it all felt horribly invasive. Two months off it wasn’t enough; I logged out. I’ve kept the messenger app to stay in touch with people, but I’m in no hurry to get back into the rest of it. I keep thinking back to my shrink telling me that none of the shrinks in the practice use any social networks because of the negative effects. I should probably stay off facebarf permanently. I like the fact that I don’t get manic online anymore. Well, I haven’t for quite a while, but I think staying off facecrap can only be helpful.

The open wound gapes and my bones ache and I wonder how long I’ll be raw for this time. Just call me sashimi. I know, I know, the self pity is almost tangible, but I have to generate my own empathy and sympathy a lot of the time. And then Mother’s Day too… two of those down and so far my approach has been to avoid looking at my social network’s newsfeeds (happy Mother’s Day, happy Mother’s Day, happy Mother’s Day), hunker down and hide out. Astonishing to realise that it’s possible to hide more than I do every other day, but it is. Just call me Mr Havisham. No, second thoughts, just don’t call me at all, I rarely answer the phone.

Death has a life of its own. Grief is violent.

Life changed so fast and then kept changing; I’m still reeling from the quake, and the aftershocks just keep on coming.

Mother’s Day though… feck. I went for a long, fast walk on the beach, which did me good. Then I bumped into a good friend of my mum’s, who totally brushed me off when I told her I was miserable and why. Luckily I could go and weep all over her daughter afterwards, I wouldn’t have coped well at all otherwise. I want the people I care about to have lovely and loving Mother’s Days though; I’m not a complete Scrooge. My dog spent the day on security patrol, getting passed off with every noise in the area. Fortunately she mostly barked under her breath, which is quite fun, because her cheeks puff out like a chipmunk’s with each subdued woof.

My meds have changed a bit, for the better, I think (despite the continuing depression). 400mg lamotrigine, 200mg sertraline, 50mg chlorpromazine, sulpiride prn. I’m off wellbutrin and coming off ritalin. Thank fuck for the sulpiride for anxiety. 6 months’ free therapy as a case study coming up too. Amazeballs. Good to have something to add to both the gratitude list and the recovery toolkit. It’ll be my second case study thing, my psychiatrist wrote up my apparently rare side effects of most meds I’ve tried.

Writing helps a lot to calm the nerves too. And who the fuck taught my nerves to tap dance anyway? Bastard.

I’m okay.

I’m Sashimi Havisham.


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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

37 thoughts on “aches and scrapes”

  1. Patent “Facebarf.” Please. That made me smile. I hate social nitwitting, er, networking.
    And tears…well, it’s part of depression and nothing about depression is good.

    I think I need to be studied, considering how many meds I’ve tried and how few have worked and the ones that gave me every possible side effect and then some. They spend too much time on the positive outcomes of these meds so when people like us have a different reaction, they’re scratching their heads. They will never discover what is going to work until they face the reasons why the existing medications don’t work on *some*.
    Study those who suffer the illness, the meds, the side effects…Then you’ll be educating and making progress.

    In lieu of an asterisk hug I will leave you with the mental image of a pegacorn wearing four floppy red clown shoes and doing the lambada.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hang tight. Some roughly ghosted face time coming in just a little over a month now. That’s probably not enough to cheer you up but walks on the beach sound awfully damn fine to me.

    I am beginning to wonder if funky head spaces are bipolar’s way of reminding you that your emotions are not entirely your own. I used to cry like you describe and you know how I fixed that. Now the tears seem to well up just behind my eyes, but have no where to go. Not better or worse, just different.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh that’s great news re: case study and free therapy! I’m very happy to hear that :)
    You still have many fans on FB but I admit, on Mother’s Day the feed was started to rub me the wrong way.
    I hate to read when you have a hard time, I wish I could just teleport and hang out. I have surplus mental energy right now and you can lean on me. Vocal or text, you can always poke me, I have plenty of karma to repay :)
    Man, that half-bark is so cute :D

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have been going on FB less and less and don’t really miss it. I enjoy my wordpress reader much more, as people like you have real things to say, and not the fake, made to impress posts that can make one feel like shit. Thanks for your honesty and I hope you will feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you feel better soon. In the UK, Mothers’ Day was about 2 months ago, but obviously living on the global internet, it’s all in our faces again this week. Fucksake. I wish such days didn’t exist. At least I’ve got Father’s Day falling on the same day as my first wedding anniversary. Great. It’s like a full day of the cliche of what people think bipolar is like – whee I’ve been married for a year so happy must try not to kill myself on father’s day so sad whee I’ve been…
    Trouble with being an orphan (even orphanned as an adult, or estranged from parents) is you HAVE to self pity I think because you can’t call your parents and tell them all the bad shit. It’s part of trying to pick up those pieces.
    Hoping to be dosed up to the eyeballs by June on some industrial strength medications.
    Do you find your meds affect your working memory or how you remember things later that you experienced while on the meds?
    Another Facefuck expat here! I agree with other commenters WordPress is where it’s AT (and twitter, although I use Twitter for acquaintancing not meaningful convos. Twitter is like going to a bar and picking up a girl and never seeing her after that night, whereas WordPress is like hanging out with Friends. Mostly Phoebes but the occasional Monica or Rachel. Facebook is too much like being forced to share your life story with total strangers, then being totally ignored when you need support the most. Plus it breeds isolated pockets of people who only interact with people like themselves and can’t open their eyes to differing views or ways of life, which is SO annoying when two differing people think it’s acceptable to start an opinion war on some totally benign status update on your own profile.
    This post had no structure. Sorry. Hope it makes sense. Distant Stretch Armstrong Hugs. Hope your dog makes you feel better. Beaches are great for that too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m commenting, I’m commenting, please don’t smack the uni!

    Too bad you don’t have enough money to hire someone to just hold you for a couple of hours. Yes I know that sounds bad but I am serious- kind of. I remember my ex telling me that when he ran away to California he hired two women to just hold him, spoon him, no sex. Surrre honey, but also, how sad. But how brilliant. There are now people that you CAN hire for just touch therapy (surrre…) but seriously it is a good idea.

    I got plenty of hugs going to AA, and I get some now going to my church (fewer because I think they have unwritten rules about that there, haha) – Is a support group or some such an option for you for that reason alone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly there isn’t a bipolar support group, and the depression ones are very Christian in the way that only people here can be – I don’t think you’d enjoy them either, they’re a dour lot. My shrink suggested I start one and oh how I laughed. I’m lucky if I achieve cooking a meal without wandering off to stare at the sky midway. Also, the 45km drive there (and back obv) at night isn’t a good idea at this stage of my medicated life. Memory shit, focus shit… I hug my dog a lot; if this place even had a rent-a-cuddle service… Guh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey you could start THAT – a cuddle service – and kill two birds w/ one stone – buy more books and get some cuddles!

        Altho I don’t approve of killing birds. I love dem.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Social networks remind me of the life I can’t have because my brain is super uncooperative. That’s why I will never go back to FB unless having a FB earns me money.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My thoughts are with you. Mental suffering is a terrible thing.

    Your therapist wants you to not think about your past at all?

    The beach sounds beautiful and lonely.

    Do you Skype with anyone? It is not as good as cuddles….ah I miss them….but it is face to face with someone who has eyes you can see…I almost wrote with someone who has eyes….then I realized that most people have eyes….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Annie :) the past is fine, but I’m not supposed to go back to stare at trauma. It’s actually part of what ended my flashbacks. Re Skype yeah I have a lovely friend to chat to.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. That would have been more clear with quotes…I almost wrote …with someone who has eyes”
    Then I realized that most people have eyes.

    I just woke up. It is my best attempt at humor and laughing at my silly mistakes.
    I read back that most people having eyes thing and then thought i should change it.

    I’m sorry…i really do think i know what i am trying to say…my brain is not communicating with my mouth…as my mouth speaks through my fingers on the keyboard. …
    Good just gets worse.
    I shall be silent now…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am smiling :)
    yes embroidery is very butch <3
    But I am glad if it takes your mind off of things.
    Sometimes doing crafts, attempting to crochet or drawing distracts me too.
    You should maybe post some of your embroidery for us to see <3

    Liked by 2 people

    1. why is it that sometimes the <3 comes out like a heart and sometimes it comes out like a greater sign and the number 3? I don't get it. More than half the time it works on my computer, The rest of the time it looks really dumb.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Totally butch, I make sure i stitch with an extremely angry facial expression and many fierce stabbing actions. If anyone gives me any crap, I sew the words ‘home sweet home’ all over their face.

      Liked by 2 people

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