This weekend I went camping, which took about a week of prep and only lasted about 24 hours. Even so, I was full of the blatant optimism described in my last post (Forget Me Not) and despite the work I was sure that even 24 hours of camping would be enough to allow me some relaxation.
Well… I was wrong.
Luckily the big orange ball of hate and hostility that came with the mixed episode landed hours after getting home, but it was a doozy.
The first warning sign I noticed was as I was laying on my bed looking up at the popcorn ceiling. Instead of random patterns of clusters and swirls it spelled out letters and words, phrases like, “call me” for no real apparent reason.
Sometimes this happens and I see cartoons on the ceiling, but the words and phrases thing is pretty normal (as in, it can happen independently of any other symptoms) for me… so I shrugged it off.
A couple hours later I was engulfed by such overwhelming obsessive racing thoughts that all I could do was burst into tears as Corey attempted to comfort me, completely unable to think of anything except one set of sentences over and over and over again.
I tried my usual tricks. Singing out loud (helps stop racing thoughts normally), focusing on images in my mind instead of words, deep breathing… and as none of them worked, I began to panic, parking myself in a place on the verge of a panic attack.
Next I was drawn into the racing statement trap. I began to believe it, which left me feeling angry and hurt and even more desperate.
It has been a while since I’ve had to take an antipsychotic (Risperidone) on top of the antipsychotic (Geodon) I already take, but last night it was warranted.
Even so I woke up still crying, unable to get out of bed this morning after having slept 14 hours. I definitely don’t feel well today, but at least I can bring my attention to a number of things instead of being forced to repeat the same thought over and over and over again.
What I’m really taking away from all this is that I am doing a pretty good job from day to day avoiding stress, because a blip this severe hasn’t happened in a while. I tend to believe it was triggered by the stress of the camping trip, which also leaves me considering that it doesn’t take much stress at this point to trigger an episode. It wasn’t as if the trip was particularly stressful, nothing stressful happened, but my mind seems to be able to create stress out of thin air sometimes.
Feeling fairly stable last week left me feeling confident about going out of my comfort zone (and taking a trip) and, to be honest, I didn’t expect a recoil this intense. As much as it seems like the Geodon is helping, it doesn’t seem to be helping as much in the stress resiliency area as my psychiatrist and I had hoped.
In any case, it will be nice to have something to report to my psychiatrist on my next visit, and I have no more qualms about increasing the dosage of Geodon next month.