it is what it is

I’m all over the freaking place at the moment. This is me trying to work stuff out again. People say things out of true kindness, because they want to help. They want us to feel better, they really do.


The answer to, “you can still lead a full and productive life,” is that I wasn’t doing that anyway and the prognosis ain’t good.
The answer to, “but everyone has mood swings,” is that the measure of a psychiatric diagnosis is suffering. The answer to, “but everyone ages and develops memory issues,” is that bipolar causes brain damage and speeds up dementia.
The answer to, “it’s probably the meds that are messing you up anyway,” is that you’d have to know exactly what life was like before them to make that judgment.
The answer to, “basically we’re all alone,” is that your body would be found a whole lot faster than mine.
The answer to, “it gets better,” is a hollow laugh.

By that logic, we could tell someone with gangrene that everyone rots eventually.

This isn’t pessimism, it’s realistic. Bipolar is a chronic and progressive disease. It’s understandable that people think it’s just some kind of wobbly mind thing or something, it’s understandable that people question the neurobiological cause theory – they’re natural assumptions. Knowledge is power and me, I feel better knowing what I’m dealing with; I can’t deal with it otherwise. Here’s some solid stuff to read if you want or need to educate yourself. Here’s a thing I wrote about how to help.

Side effects of medication.  
Physical effects of bipolar disorder.
Cognitive deficits in bipolar disorder.


It’s hard for anyone (even us sometimes) to believe that time and meds and positive thinking won’t fix it. It’s hard for people who haven’t lived it, to know the depths and the claws of serious depression and the harm in manic episodes. It’s hard for all of us to hear that stable episodes probably won’t last. Sometimes people know somebody with mild bipolar, or unipolar and they don’t understand the serious stuff. Here are some misconceptions (and some good news) about bipolar disorder.

The thing is, bipolar is a cluster of symptoms and no two cases are the same. It is possible to get stable, it’s possible to have a damn good life. There’s no guarantee, but it’s possible. There’s no recovery, there’s no cure. It’s known as the cancer of psychiatric disorders and remission is possible. Support from loved ones is a major plus in the journey towards remission; educated support is even better. We really do need support; it can be hell and the suicide stats are off the chart.

Fuck, it’s all segued into a damn lecture. I live alone, I have a lot of love, but fuckall practical support. I’m grieving it. Pfffft. Reboot.

I’m having sudden and serious issues with words – finding them, using them and reading them. It’s a big deal for me. My memory has become ridiculous; I’m not just forgetting the usual things, I’m even forgetting people. I’m waiting to schedule a ct scan to check it out. It’ll be okay either way, I’m not frightened, only lonely.

It is what it is.


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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

37 thoughts on “it is what it is”

  1. I get this big time. I think the cats would have my body digested before anyone thought to come check on me. I’m generally good being alone, but a bit of support from the people who are supposed to give a damn would be nice. Least I have the internet and wordpress :)

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I really liked this post. Right now, I am reading a book that is annually written by the medical, holistic, psychological, eastern medicine and traditional Western Med and psych community. It’s the annual IBPF book called “Living Healthy” with Bipolar disorder. I have a side effect of Tardive Dyskinesia from taking atypical antipsychotics for over ten years (30% odds NAMI says and they would be conservative) now these drugs keep us on the planet but also, the reason that there are way less older people with bipolar disorder than young is not because bipolar goes away, we die younger! The drugs we take, even the ones that don’t work can cause major side effects weight gain, diabetes, cardio…severe weight gain in itself comes with a whole host of issues. And we are not always in the right frame of mind to prevent (as in diet and exerfrickinsize) prevent the train from coming down the tracks. In older people, antipsychotics in rare cases with patients with dementia cause cardio events and death.
    After finding a combination of two drugs for my Tardive Dyskinesia (which took three years of dealing with idiots, a few different approaches (like detoxing off Seroquel, an unmitigated disaster) and at least ten complete workups by various neuros and psychs. One Asian chick at Cleveland Clinic took one look at my Parkinson like shaking, told me it was ‘psychosomatic’ clicked my file shut and walked out the door. three minutes and rude, snippy and dismissive. Stigmata….So finally I get relief from the thrashing. The price? I’m married to a class of meds to control my Tardive that makes me really gain weight, as if I’m eating for two. I also have ADHD. I dont’ abuse my meds but if not taken perfectly and with rotation of ‘vacation medications’ they’ll cause me more harm than good. They used to help with the excessive hunger but no more. I’ve gained 2 sizes in two weeks since going off of Adderall, which was beginning to cause problems for me. It wore off too quickly after awhile and I’d need little bits more quickly. So I stopped. Depressed as F**K for a month. Life’s not easy with this illness, but I get a lot out of my association with IBPF because they are genuine and are on the cutting edge of science. They say that in ten years, the way we treat manic depressive illness will be considered Barbaric. That’s something to hope for, especially for the young people. check em out also a page in facebook. you can read cutting edge or really edgy crap and make all kinds of comments. One person said to my story about being locked up: “You can take your story and stick it up your ass!!!” It’s funny. The drugs are getting better. They truly are. And, if you’ve never read “2BipolarChicks” by Wendy K Williamson and Honora Rose, it’s survival tips a la carte. Such a good book and they have a section on finding the right kind of psychiatrist. My friend, who desperately needs anafronil which costs her ten bucks a pill…he wouldnt’ even do the paperwork to get her a formulary exeption request. He’s clearly not the right shrink for her. If you wanna have fun with us over on the edge, I’m building a bipolar private FB page if you wanna be a member and or contribute to it. I haven’t promoted it enough but if you go on Facebook the name is the easiest way to access it. “Bipolar: Our cycles unite us, bring on the sound.” It’s a work in progress. And yes, you were brutally honest in your post. How am I just gonna ‘ike’ a post like that? “Liking” in my opinion is for the minions on Facebook. But that’s just me.

    But here are a couple of rays of hope. There is genetic testing today at the Mayo Clinic, not all insurance covers but it predicts which meds will work best for you..and one of the meds they mention is a med no one uses any more, the one where I mentioned my friend and how much it is…anafronil. An older tricyclic.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks a lot for the comment – good and bad stuff there… I’m not on fb, but I do read ibpf stuff. I bought the 2 bipolar checks book, bit I’ve only read chapter 1 so far. I’m sorry this reply is so short, you gave me tons to think about, but I think I used up the communication section of my brain writingthe post. Thanks again.


  4. From one wobbly mind to another, I hear ya. A year ago, I was where you seem to be at now. Couldn’t for the life of me remember names, people, places, events. I struggled to reach for the simplest of words that somehow escaped recollection, dashing away instead just as I felt I could almost taste them. Frustrating on so many levels. The worst thing for me is I couldn’t read. Well I could read, I just could not recall anything I’d read, it was like the words just danced on the page instead of make any lasting impression on my memory at all. I had the attention span of a flea. So what’s the point, I hear you ask? Exactly!! What’s the point? I spent a lot of time staring into space or on my computer trying to concentrate on anything at all. I’m not being glib, but it did improve. Took a while, but it did. You changed any meds recently? CT can’t hurt anyway. Feeling ya man!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Time! It took time. From November 2013 until the beginning of this year, was really really struggling with a bout of depression. It took forever to respond to a change in medication but its turning around now. Fairly pissed me off – lost a year of my life really. I am writing again and that for me is a great thing. I’ve missed that too. Haven’t opened a book yet, but I’ll get there.. bite sizes, step by step recovery. For what its worth, it doesn’t appear to have changed your prolificness or your delicious prose!

        Liked by 4 people

      2. when I had memory problems–well, I still do, but it’s better now–it got so bad I couldn’t read either. Could not recall the previous sentence to make sense of the next. Doc added a very small dose of adderall to my meds to help with that. It didn’t fix the situation but seemed to help some.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Sending you my Sasquatchian, non-$cientology love!

    I hope this is not the wrong thing to write because it’s not all unicorn farty, but it took me seven years to feel better. Of course that timeframe doesn’t apply to everyone, thank God. We all know folks who get better much sooner than that.

    I know it’s terrifying when you can’t read, make sense of words, remember people you know….I’ve been through that too. Reading has always been my solace, my rock. I look forward to reading about how Placid got out of that stage! As for me, I had to have (well, I asked for) ECT and hospitalization but I’m not saying in any way that’s what you need to do. There are other ways to get out of it. Better meds than what I was trying at that time. If only they put me on the Parnate (MAOI) back then.

    Please keep us posted as much as you feel up to doing so!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. If we could only bottle Lucy’s farts and put them in a special contraption that would spew them out at mean people; those fumes would be more powerful than any pepper spray! Her farts have been known to actually make me laugh – it’s hard to believe that such an adorable, fuzyy and at-times regal looking creature can emanate such stank.

        You bring up an excellent question. This will sound rather bizarre, but during the 7 years I was so sick, Craig worked on his book. He loved writing it, and researching the subject (aviation history and his great. great uncle John J, Montgomery, the West Coast aviation pioneer who the contemporary Wright Brothers hated…in this house we call them The Wrong Brothers and they were sick assholes, but our history makes them into saints) and I even called his book “the other woman”! He co-wrote it with his friend Gary, so there was collaboration, and that project allowed him frequent, and very necessary escapes from Bipolarwifeworld.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. I appreciate this post. Just today I was writing about the connection between memory, writing, and bipolar disorder. I agree with you in that the cognitive deficits suck big time–sometimes more than the mood swings, in fact, because they can be kind of invisible to others, or elicit a wrong and unwelcome kind of sympathy. I also agree with the idea that this disease and its symptoms is/are chronic–but I want to think it is not necessarily progressive. I have read some articles suggesting that (the right) medication can stop the disease’s progress in terms of brain damage. Hopefully this is not wishful thinking on my part. Thanks for this post–pk

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re quite right about the meds that can halt and sometimes repair the damage – the disease is progressive untreated and prognoses differ hugely. Depends on how long it went untreated, the way your bipolar manifests etc etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Strongs (for the throngs of thongs). I envisioned a small child, like Thumbelina, in your brain fumbling about blissfully, putting together all the puzzle pieces (because kids love puzzles) and healing your battered and bruised senses/cognition.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Nope, not a fairy. A barleycorn seed
        was planted and she emerged from a flower.
        Am I the only one who has fairytales swishing around her head?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ll try not to sneeze around her. I definitely have tales, mostly local things and (blame my mum) Russian kids stories and always LoTR. When I was a kid, I had some lovely books about a young girl in Roman Britain and I daydreamed all the time. I wanted to be her so much. Stories are wonderful things :ľ

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ooooh do you remember what the story about Roman British girl is called? Reality shmee-Al-ity…who needs it anyway. Oh and if you sneeze she’ll be catapulted about your smooshy brain. I think she likes that – no worries.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s the Eagle of the Ninth series by Rosemary Sutcliffe. They made a film of the first book, it had Channing Tatum in it and I’m still scarred by the experience. Bleh. I’m a bit concerned about having a midget flying around my brain :0

              Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve noticed things with my memory too and it scares me as well. At least you are a prolific blogger who can check date stamps on your posts ;) Our minds are important to us. I want it be the last thing to go, not the first :s

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Memory issues are the reason I transitioned from acting to public speaking. I don’t even write my speeches down because the words will never stick in my head. On the other hand, it has made me much better at improvising and shooting from the hip. Also, sometimes my brain just clocks out and before I know it I’ve been staring intensely into my refrigerator for five minutes. Oh, bipolar! Is there anything you can’t do????

    Liked by 1 person

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