Tag Archives: geodon

December Isolation

I’ve sort of dropped off the radar for a few weeks… it didn’t help that first I was sick, then I had my wisdom teeth out, and I’m just starting to get over it.

What this means is that I have been alone in my apartment all day, nearly ever day, since Thanksgiving. And while at first there were traces of cabin fever there and I could feel myself wanting to get outside and do something, after a week and a half I have reverted to another attitude entirely.

I am busy, distracted, even, doing things in my apartment. I’ve barely even considered going out, or making plans to talk to anyone, and putting forth the effort to do so seems… silly.

This sort of isolation (forced at first, and then conformed to) is pretty common for me. It isn’t unusual for me to drop off the face of the earth, and disappear from the view of my friends or family.

It isn’t that I don’t want to see anyone, or that I feel compelled to avoid people, it just doesn’t seem to occur to me to reach out or go out.

Now that I am no longer sick, and my mouth is somewhat healed from the wisdom tooth extraction, I’ve been tripping over another isolating hurdle.

The Geodon.

The medication I’m taking seems to have two settings. Fall asleep early in the evening (6-7 pm) or take a nap from 2-4 pm and then don’t sleep at all. I currently have been taking it in the “fall asleep early” mode, the don’t sleep at all way of taking it left me feeling totally desperate for sleep, the insomnia driving me bananas.

So what is one to do when they can barely keep their eyes open after 6 pm? How many holiday parties can I go to? How many movies can I go out in the evening to see? How long do I have in the evening to see Corey when he comes home from work, before I am rendered completely unconscious?

Unfortunately, that is just the way things are right now, and I have to accept it. My doctor and I are still playing around with the Geodon to see if maybe a higher dose will have a different effect, so as of yesterday I am dealing with increasing it (with some unpleasant side effects re-surfacing) again.

I also feel like this isolation has been something of an unintentional defense mechanism. My mood remains much more stable (or so it would appear) if it isn’t open to the stress of the outside world. To be fair, though, that is only true for so long before it goes into a self-destruct mode from boredom. I have had enough to do that boredom hasn’t been a huge issue, and I’ve been managing to barely hang on to a relatively level mood.

I know this wont work for long. And I also know that if I don’t pull myself out of this isolation rut, something else will, and it is likely to be much more jarring than if I start to steer myself away on my own.

Until a couple days ago, I didn’t even realize that I was isolating, and though there are several reasons it came about, I’ve continued isolating well past that. As much stress ad December holds, I get worried that it is an all or nothing situation, and that by stepping out of isolation I will have the entire weight of the holidays dumped on me at once.

Last year I wrote a post on dealing with holiday stress… maybe it is time to take my own advice!

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A BD Note

Tomorrow is my 27th birthday, and I am left reflecting on my life and all that wonderfully serious gobbledigook that comes with the territory.

I had several things to say, but I’m finding myself at a total loss for words now. The geodon (which appeared to be working) is now apparently not, and the rolling waves of depression are being followed with steep energy drains  lasting 2-3 hours where I can’t stay awake to save my life. Needless to say, my judgement is a little clouded this morning, but it is likely things will pick up by this afternoon.

 

 

The Last Two Months; Reality vs. Fiction

Yesterday was supposed to be my “return to work” day after taking a leave of absence when I had that bad episode of depression (or, well, it started out as a mixed bag) that lasted all through October, but I didn’t go.

Fear not, there is no need to panic! When I met with my psychiatrist last week to get my final “return to work” documents, I sent them and my request for accommodations to my HR department.

The final decision my therapist and psychiatrist helped me make was that, since this job involves commuting a fair distance (we’re talking 3-4 hours total per day) and the level of my stress shot through the roof trying to add that on top of my 40 hours per week, it is much more realistic to expect me to work around 40 hours, instead of the 60 (counting the commute) I had been working.

So, I sent a request to change my status to part time (instead of full-time) because I am only able to work there three days a week. I told them I was willing to negotiate if we could work something out in terms of working from home, but commuting that far three days a week seems like a much more realistic goal to me.

I was promptly called and told not to return to work, because my position is going to be reviewed to determine if the accommodations can happen for me and the position I’m working in.

In the meantime, I am feeling quite a bit better so really, I’ve been twiddling my thumbs a little bit, getting some extra writing time in, and going to that suicide prevention workshop I mentioned yesterday.

The waiting to hear what my destiny will be feels uncomfortable, but not unbearable. If they approve my request I will still have a really interesting job, and if they don’t, I expect to apply for unemployment (and will be able to because of the route I’ve taken with this). If both my employer and I come to an impasse about the accommodations, I will be unemployed but not fired, if that makes any sense. I am really happy that even though it is inconvenient, I am taking the time to request accommodations because it is important to me that if I return, my co-workers understand the severity of what I am dealing with.

And actually, to be frank, I believe things to be much more severe than I had really expected.

Now that I’m taking geodon, one of the benefits (it seems) is that all of the rubbish that has been taking up space in my brain has started to be sorted. Junk is being thrown out, boxes are being uncovered that I haven’t seen in ages, and new, important connections are being made. It is kind of like… someone has turned on a light-switch in there, and all of the cockroaches have gone running.

The unfortunate part about this is that many of these new connections have been somewhat disturbing. Almost like playing a game of connect-the-dots and when I’m done connecting them, there is a picture of a monster looking back at me.

At first I chalked this up to hypomania, but now that has worn off and I just feel level-headed and competent. So why are those monsters still looking at me?

It has come to my attention (and this might sound a little confusing, so bare with me for a second) that there seem to be a lot of clues suggesting that at the beginning of last month, the problems I was having with my manager at work were actually fictional. Fictional in the sense that, for the most part, I don’t think she intended the vast majority of the things I accused her of doing, and many of them (like trying to sabotage me) were in my mind alone. 

You’re probably thinking that is a little far fetched, and if I could truly describe to you the nature of the epiphany I had when I realized this, how many pieces of information suddenly came together to form an entirely new perspective in a matter of moments, it might be a little more clear. Unfortunately, how can I best describe the process of the brain thinking? Or reflecting on many moments when, all combined, look like the image of a monster instead of a bunch of dots.

The sensation of reaching this conclusion was so unnerving that I had a sudden hysterical moment right in the middle of the day, because it feels very much like many of my biggest fears are being realized.

Ok. So I had some kind of weird, psychotic break. Big deal, right? I mean, they didn’t even fire for acting so ludicrous and suddenly becoming completely paranoid that an employee was trying to undermine me, so it isn’t like I caused anyone harm or damaged anything, which is good.

The trouble, though, is knowing how very serious that whole situation was, and I had no idea whatsoever. I mean, being completely unable to distinguish reality from fiction has some pretty intense effects on the human psyche, let alone realizing all of this suddenly in the matter of about 30 seconds.

The monster, the picture that those dots created, it was me the whole time, and I didn’t realize it. I can’t help but feel inclined to notice all of the other times, now, in my life where this was probably the case, and all of those instances create a much darker picture of bipolar disorder than the one I had somehow attached myself to in my head.

I thought I had things relatively under control. 

The truth is that I don’t. And what’s more, I can see now that my symptoms have been accelerating in severity. I knew they were, but I had no idea things were this bad. (As in, bad enough to create an upheaval at work because of my own paranoia.)

Through the last couple weeks the Geodon seems to be holding up pretty well, I’m thinking clearly, I have been alert (even if too alert at times) and there haven’t been any mood swings that didn’t appear to be triggered by something I can readily identify. Isn’t it funny how feeling a bit better is acting as a sudden reminder of how bad things have been getting?

Anyway, I think what I’m saying is that I feel a lot less likely to freak out about all of this information.

Still, it is unnerving knowing that I have had trouble distinguishing between reality and fiction, and I can’t help but be a little edgy.

Is it happening now? Is this real?

Well I hope so, I just typed out 1090 something words, so if not I might be a little irked!

So, again. Things are more severe than I had anticipated, and discovering that made me genuinely concerned about all of the paperwork I had just sent off about work. Does this change my potential ability to work? With the new medication doing its thing, I really don’t know. Unfortunately I am just going to have to wait and see what happens next.