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28 Sep 99 – Diary

Well, the last week or so has been a bit of a disaster. But perhaps I should step back a bit. The medications have been working wonderfully, but I still haven’t gotten used to being normal. I am finding the effort to do things to be very high, nearly as high as in a depression. I have a sneaking suspicion that getting used to putting out this much effort on a regular basis is going to hard.

Somehow, I am still expecting my usual bouncy energetic happy hypomanic self to show up and perform miracles for me. But it is not happening.

My psych never mentioned that it would be this way. I have just wasted a week making a realisation that could simply have been told to me.

I am starting to get really really annoyed with the psychology profession because they have been so focused in the ill effects of being manic depressive they have made no effort to help people who are mostly ok get back on their feet.

I used say in some of my crazier times that I was not stable, but functional. It never occurred to me that I could be stable but non-functional. Well, I suppose I will have to trudge through this painfully and acquire the skills to survive normalcy one by one. I do not like being normal. At all. I want back my effortless life.

29 Sep 99 – Diary

Yesterday, I had a mild anxiety attack and disappeared for the day. Not good, perhaps, but it has been qualitatively different from all the last ones. That is what has been reassuring.

I wasn’t as anxiety ridden as in the past and I was more aware of my surroundings than ever before. In fact, I could almost say I enjoyed the day as an escape from the normal routine.

That has never happened before. I have always been always anxious and full of guilt. But not this time around. And the day was wild and windy and I got some great stuff for my poetry.

I feel as if I am getting there, back to normal. But slowly. When a house if being built, the walls go up quickly and it appears as if a lot has been done. But the interior finishing takes a while to do and it always seems as if the contractor has slowed down because there is no visible change. That’s how I feel at the moment. The interior changes are happening, but it’ll be a while before they become apparent.

1 Oct 99 – Diary

I have a suspicion that I’ve been out of touch with the world for so long (two weeks) that I can’t remember how to do everyday stuff. I look at people with incomprehension when they tell me everyday tidbits of news. It feels as if it is happening halfway across the world, not things I should be interested in.

I am definitely frustrating my parents since I am sure that they realise that a lot of what they say is meeting with a certain amount of indifference from me. They’ve been very patient about it, but I’m hoping that I pull out of this state before I become an irritating little sod.

And I realise that I don’t know when is the last time I went out for a drink with friends. There are reasons for this (chief of which is that alcohol reacts badly with my meds), but still it is a long time since I’ve been out socialising.

I really need to relink myself into my social world and, well, the real world again.

I’m just a little scared of overreaching myself and destabilising. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

3 Oct 99 – Diary

My parents keep on carping about wanting me to start back work. I find it extremely irritating. They seem to think that if I can go to work I am better. As far as I am concerned, whether or not I go to work has little bearing on how well I feel. I am extremely annoyed at the pressure on me.

Nevertheless I’m back out to work tomorrow for a few reasons. One is to get my parents off my back. The other is that they are right, unfortunately. The longer I leave going back out into the “real world,” the harder it will become. Has become.

I’ve certainly let my ability to do basic things get rusty because I haven’t been doing to much (not even updating this web site). And by staying home and not going out, I’ve developed a, well not quite fear, but a wariness of going out. All of which is a bit silly.

So tomorrow, life is back to normal. Wish me luck. I hope I remember what I used to do in office. I hope I can face the people working there.

4 Oct 99 – Diary

I haven’t taken medication for one and half days now. No reason, just, well, not been able to. I forget, or I get mildly annoyed and the moment just slips away.

The first effect is that I feel better. I could be getting a bit manic, but I suspect my medication was a bit too much. Now that it has worn off a bit, I feel much better.

Apparently the Epilim (Depakote) was making me feel numb and lethargic and out of sorts. That’s what I was describing over the last week or so. It certainly clarifies the confusion I was having over why I was acting depressed even though I wasn’t feeling depressed.

There is a certain stupidity to all this. Why am I taking medications if all it does is alter the type of craziness I feel instead of fixing it.

How much trial and error am I going to have to go through to get the combination of medications right so it works for me instead of against me. These days I feel as if the time taken to stabilise on the drugs should me measured in years instead of weeks or months.

I am also developing a healthy skepticism for any medications suggested by psychiatrists. If tiny changes in dosage of my medication make a huge difference in my stability and functionality, how can the psych make any confident prediction about the medication’s effect on anyone else. Particularly since no one of us has exactly the same problem anyway.

Personally, I think that all the psychiatrists have is a set of drugs and a statistical analysis of what might work. And then they guess like crazy in prescribing the drugs and hope something works. And judging from what I hear and my own experience, they usually guess wrong at first. And they really have no idea if another drug might work, or work better. Or even if the existing drug might work better at another dosage.

I’ve decided to take control of my drug regimen. I decide what medications work. I experiment with what might work better. I recommend to my psych when I need to change drugs and I tell her the kind of action I want the new drug to have.

My psych’s responsibility is to ensure I remain safe in my taking of drugs, to bounce ideas and feelings off, to clarify what actions I should be taking, to act as a competent resource on available drugs, and to provide me with advice should I need it. And of course to act as the person who helps me pick up the pieces when I screw up royally – as I will inevitably do when experimenting.

4 Oct 99 – Diary

I just found out that my godfather died. I haven’t seen him in the last three weeks because the way I was feeling made it difficult to deal with people. I feel terrible about missing talking with him during this time, but I am not going to be ashamed.

There is a slow anger that life has to be this way. Why do I hurt the people I love.

If anyone makes any comments to me about not being to see my godfather before his death, I swear I am going to hit them. It hurts enough as it is.

I curse that the medication is inhibiting my really good poetry. I can’t even express how I feel the only way I know how.