Monday, August 18, 2014

Skipped Meds, Depression, Trigger Warning, and Fashion!

Disclaimer: This entry might be a little triggery.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I woke up Friday with my mind in a cotton candy swirl of disconnected and noisy thoughts.  The rational part of me thought, "Oh neat, hypomania. That's weird and interesting. Why is this happening?"

I figured I was half asleep and that was the cause of the swirling thoughts, so I stood up and wandered the apartment for a while.

Then I saw my pill bottle.

Oh, crap.

I counted the pills in my bottle, slowly realizing the truth: I forgot to take all of my bipolar medicine on Thursday.  I had to take a double dose on Friday to stay on track. I spaced them apart so it wouldn't be too bad - a dose at 8 am and a dose at 11 pm. By Saturday afternoon I was back to taking them at 4:20 pm (hah) but the drowsiness and stomach problems ruined everything and I felt like death.

Another wasted weekend without photos, without chores done. I mostly slept and googled, "Why are people triggered?" and "How can I stop being depressed?"  I also ate vast amounts of food and did not exercise.  I talked to some friends for five minutes. Mainly, I felt a pain in my chest, a gnawing need to get back to reality.

It is Monday now. I have several things I learned from this, several things I am looking forward to and and all of them I am grateful for.

 1. I bought this sweet, sweet discontinued swimsuit on clearance. 

If I don't look awesome in this, there is nothing I can look awesome in. 

Is it just me, or does that model look like her backdrop is on another planet?  Is it on Andromeda?  Anyway it's coming in the mail today and I can't wait to try it on.

2. I bought two dresses on sale Thursday during Tax Free Week to wear to the beach less than three weeks from now. I bought them in person so you will have to wait and see photos when I wear them.

3. Okay, this is going to get a little heavy.

I was asking myself why I felt so easily triggered when someone ended their life or by news events. I did some research and I learned that people can be triggered by people they relate with, where they can visualize being in the same situation as a person or event.

 Going on the internet last week I could not help but see headlines about Robin Williams's death, the unrest in Missouri, and more political drama in the news. Innocently checking Facebook to see cat photos and my friends having ice water dumped over their head, I was clued in on what method Robin chose to end his life and what Michael Brown's dead body looked like. And all of a sudden my sick thoughts came to life and I pictured myself dead, my friends dead, my family dead, and finding bodies. 

How can someone not relate with Robin Williams? 

Robin Williams might be easier to explain being that anyone who saw his movies identified with him when he played the protagonist.  We felt every emotion in his face, we imitated his delivery in character whether or not we had ever acted. We knew that Robin Williams was a master of improv and it was almost impossible sometimes to separate the man from the performance. And anyone who had bipolar disorder, like I do, and has been in that place ... 

I related with him.  I saw myself in his bedroom in Tiberon. I saw him in my bedroom. I had put myself in his shoes time and time again with Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, and Dead Poet's Society. What made this any different?  

How can someone's heart not be ripped out by Mike Brown being killed in broad daylight by a police officer, an unarmed boy with a clean rap sheet, possibly over a couple of cigars? Are you kidding me? I cannot handle it. 

The aftermath was insane, the racism surrounding it is insane.  

I am afraid for our country. I am afraid to speak at length on it except to say I am afraid for our country. Most of my interactions with police have been okay. I am always courteous knowing the violent situations they usually have to face. I also know that police are allowed to lie and I also have come across some extremely corrupt ones. It is like any job.  I think of my job and how I work with some people who are here to get as much work done as possible and others who talk on their phone for hours at a time.  I think of how the biggest big wig of where I work had to do jail time for doing something illegal while on the job. Human beings are not perfect and the ramifications are terrifying. 

At times I am strong.  I have goals and make plans to make the world a better place a little at a time. I make sure there is always something to look forward to. 

Instead of visualizing myself in that Tiburon bedroom with a belt and a knife, I visualize myself giving him a gentle hug and leading him out of that horrible place. I visualize being a friend to others who find themselves in that corner, a place of safety and love.

Instead of being afraid for our country I will continue to pay attention.  I am so glad that people are making others aware that this it is not okay to silence journalists, that violence is not okay, that none of this is okay. I am grateful for the people out there who know this and continue to spread this message.

That's enough for now.

Now I'm afraid to link up, but I feel like what I learned was important and honest. If we cannot be grateful for what we have we can be grateful for what we've learned.

Now go link up and have a brave and grateful afternoon!

Grateful Heart Linkup with Ember Grey

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


  1. Jen. I'm so glad you DID link up, as scary as it must have been to 1. write this and then 2. share it. I tell you what- if I could hug YOU right now I would. The news is such a tough thing for me... on days I feel really down, I don't get online at all, I don't watch tv... that's how I protect myself in a way, I suppose. I force myself outside to see the beauty that is in the grass, the sky, the birds. I write, I call family or friends. Sometimes I just need to distance myself from the news and all of the horrible things that are going on in this world and to try and focus on the good that is in the present moment.. and if the present moment doesn't feel good, I know that one is surely coming. And it's not that I don't care about things going on in the world, it's the opposite- it's that I care so much and it pains me to keep reading about it all. When Robin died, the minute I found out, I stayed away from the news for 2 days. I knew it would make me so, so sad. And I worried for others who might possibly be feeling the pain he felt in those last hours of his life. And I prayed so, so hard. I'm glad that you pushed through your day Friday, as hard as it may have been... it sounds like you're really educating yourself on everything, the triggers, who you are, schedules, etc. You are one strong lady. XO

    1. Thank you, first of all, for your very heartfelt comment. I wish I knew how to enable html in comments right now because if I could I would post Olaf saying I LIKE WARM HUGS.

      I took a current events class one time and I told myself that I would always pay attention to what is going on. I think everyone has to find a balance. We don't want to live in the world of current events and dwell on the negativity they can bring sometimes. I found myself this week cuddling my cat, playing Bejeweled, imagining myself having one of those perfectly decorated living rooms with the perfect chevron pillows, the kind you see on and want to replicate. It did not help that I skipped my meds.

      I think I had to write this. When something happens, my first question is why. Those with a spiritual or religious bent accept that this is part of their relationship with God and having faith, but for those with a more secular or academic approach like me (or for those who use their religious side plus their academic side) look for patterns.

      I think people like us we identify with and care so much about other people (otherwise why would we blog?) but it might be harmful to overextrapolate our identities to people we've never met. And that's why it's OK to look to the sun, the sky, your babies, your fur babies, and find people to hold onto.