Part 1: “It would help if you accepted you were bipolar.”

Man, a lot’s been happening lately. Not the least of which is that the WordPress iPhone app finally got all of its showstopper bugs fixed. It only took 6 versions, and I had no idea how much I depend on it when I commute every workday.

But let’s get on with the IRL events. Here’s a quick summary before we get on to the Pill That Changed My Life (For Now):

Some weeks ago, I talked to my bartender. I know now that I’m in denial about a lot of things, and he finally convinced me that meditation and relaxation techniques are the way to go. If I can ever get my head on straight.

This was not going to happen soon. My next appointment with him was, at the time, over a month later due to scheduling hell, but it’s unlikely it would have helped if it came earlier, because my extended up cycle started.

The thing about bipolar… is that there are the immediate fast cycling parts, but there are also the more extended up and down cycles. Manic and depressive, if you will. They’re like the supporting bass and drums in a song while the fast cycling is the melody screaming guitar riffs across your brain.

So I had a manic cycle start. This was characterized by 12 to 16 hour days spent on work, working over weekends, taking on extra load, etc. I threw myself into work and it felt great. I thought, “I’m finally normal!” while not noticing that no one else worked that long. Not even the workaholics.

The thing about extended manic cycles is that they don’t last forever. After the high comes the crash. And as they say, the higher…

I crashed hard. To those without bipolar, or who are in denial that they really are bipolar, this sounds melodramatic. I don’t feel like justifying this to people, other than to say it’s like having the worst day in your life—the kind where your pet of 10 years died, and then the grandparent you love died, and then you ended up with an insanely high insurance premium after you crashed into a tree because you were crying so hard after the funeral, and your car is now a totaled mess. ((Alternatively, at least in my case, it would be like the day I lost my TA position in University with $4k in the bank, parents who were stalking me with intent to murder, getting a call from someone I thought was a friend and who was now telling me he sold my suppressed information to my parents for my own good, and then they arrived. And then It Got Worse.))

But it’s worse, because there’s no stimuli that would have made you feel that horrible, and yet you do.

See how crazy-making that is? And may the gods help you if this mood is similar enough to a real bad day like that for the PTSD to start coming out to play.

Anyways, it got so bad over the course of just two days that I ended up calling for an emergency appointment with the candyman. The conversation I had with him can be summed up as this:

Me: *sobbing*
Candyman: You know, it would help if you accepted that you are bipolar.
Me: Ok.
Candyman: … Really?

Yeah, it only took seven years for me to get to that point.

So then I got a new medication (on top of the Lamictal and Buspar): something called Abilify. It’s one of the newer anti-psychotics, but also happens to have other effects. He put me on 2mg, such a small amount that I doubted it would have much effect, if any.

Last words, people. Last words.

I’ll write about that part of the adventure later. Despite happening over just a few days, it is jam-packed with terror, delight, and flying away on a wing and prayer.

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