Wednesday, 15 May 2013

May 15, 2013.

Well it's been a while and some things have certainly changed in my life, and in addition someone actually asked me when I was going to be making another post, which made me kind of happy. It's not nice to know someone else has these struggles, but it does make me happy that in a way I'm kind of helping them or that maybe they feel better that they have someone to relate to.

In terms of life, I got into my first preference for university so I am now studying to be a midwife, which is so incredible ! I'm not really loving the juggling act between work, university, family, friends, money, etc. But it will all be worthwhile in the end. Even now, just starting out I've already had moments that have made me feel like this is what I should be doing. I am about 80% certain I'll be doing university part time next year because the increasing level of difficulty of course work and placement combined with making enough money to survive just won't work otherwise, but it's not a race. I'll get there eventually. I think I sometimes forget that even though I can accept I may not process or experience life the same way as the majority of people, I get really upset when I can't balance everything like someone else who wasn't in my situation might be able to.

Also, on January 16, our 3 year anniversary, Morgan proposed ! I'm so happy. I kind of want to go all crazy and start planning a beautiful wedding but the whole money thing and trying to balance life as it is, it's just not working out for me. So hopefully soon we can set a date in the future and I can just slowly plan away over time. In any case, whether we get married in two years or ten years, I'm still incredibly happy that I've met the love of my life :)

I suppose I've been struggling the last few months. As soon as the whole 'OH MY GOD I'M ENGAGED' and 'OH MY GOD I GOT INTO MIDWIFERY' shock wore off, and I started to actually go to university and work and everything started to get on top of me, I sort of fell into a bit of a black hole. I guess I'm still there, but I'm working on it. I saw my psychiatrist a few months back and she recommended I stop taking seroquel if it was making me feel so tired, which helped. But it also had an anti-depressant effect, so after a little while I didn't feel so great and was trying to weigh up if tired and happy was more important than not tired and miserable. I've now been put on lamotrigine in addition to my valproate, which should have an antidepressant effect too, so hopefully that helps. My psych gave me the choice about valproate and lamotrigine vs lithium, but I'd really rather avoid lithium if possible.. so that has become my plan B. Lamotrigine is an anticonvulsant, and apparently it has the interesting side effect of a lethal skin rash so I have to increase my dose incredibly slowly, so I'm not sure when it will actually start working.

I guess I won't go into the whole depression thing too much in this post, I've said it before and it's basically exactly the same as every other time. Mostly for no reason, but I guess I also have other stuff going on that is really bothering me. It's really hard for me, at times, to be learning about pregnancy and child birth and knowing that I could never just get pregnant by surprise and be all happy and excited. I have to worry about medication hurting the baby and how I will personally cope with not taking medication while pregnant (it is absolutely up to the individual but I would never take that risk with my child unless it was an incredibly serious situation). It just makes me sad sometimes. I know I won't be able to have kids for a while, especially considering that even though I'm a lot more stable that I used to be, I am still affected by my moods a great deal. I want to be a good mum and I know that, in my situation, that means waiting but knowing this doesn't stop it from hurting. Sometimes I just wish I didn't have to worry about so much ! Or maybe the problem is I worry about things that I shouldn't worry about yet anyway. Hm.

I think I actually have some new people on facebook and whatnot who will come across this and maybe not know that this is something I struggle with, so I'd really appreciate it if they took the time to read all the posts, or at least the important ones, and understand that mental illness is actually really common, and people can be living these secret lives full of pain, confusion and fear and you'd never even know.

Thanks for reading. I hope anyone who is having a rough time can feel free to contact me if they want to talk.


Saturday, 5 January 2013

January 6, 2013.

Yo'. Just figured I'd update this thing since it's been so long. I can't be bothered reading my last post (lazy, I know), but I have a vague idea of where I was then so I'll just jump forward to where we are now.

I'm still taking valproate, and a few months ago I started taking seroquel too. I'm only on 50mg a night, it's more the sedative dose rather than the anti-psychotic dose, and boy, it really does it's job. For a while there I was almost convinced I had become a zombie.. Constantly tired and felt barely any emotion, aside from being irritated occasionally. I'm okay now though, once all that business was finished I was getting good sleep and feeling emotionally quite stable - and that's pretty much how things have stayed ~!

I had an amazing new years eve party with some close friends, and much to mine and Morgan's surprise, some cool people from Melbourne made the trek to Adelaide to spend the night with us which was great. In addition to that, my sister and her boyfriend had come down for a week and a half for Christmas and new years and they stayed with us so it made me really happy to see her + Ned again. It's nice to see them so happy together ! 

I made some new years resolutions even though I think it's kind of silly - I don't think I've ever made any that lasted past June >.< But here they are any way ! 
1. Lose 5 or so kilos
2. Get a handle on my anxiety + bouts of rage
3. Get amazing grades at uni
4. Remind my family + loved ones how much I appreciate them more often.
5. Travel some place new. 
Wish me luck ! 

I guess I've already started having some weird feelings about this year.. It just feels like it's going to be a big year, and I don't know if that's good or bad. Things were pretty wacky on the last day of 2012 and it just feels like it's going to keep going.. Although maybe that's just due to my tendency to think everything snowballs - good and bad. 

I just have this uncomfortable feeling at the moment; it feels like no matter what I want in life I have to work hard for it, whereas others seem to get things handed to them even when they didn't even want them. I don't know if that makes sense or not, seeing as I don't feel comfortable in publicly expressing the few situations I'm talking about. It makes me feel really silly + self entitled, and I really don't want to think of myself like that as I've been raised to be grateful for what I have and work for what I don't. . I guess happiness just seems like something I have to put in so much effort to achieve, when others can just waltz through life doing what they want, finding happiness anywhere. I don't understand why I have to be such a perfectionist, and so impatient... It's hard to explain. It's not sadness, it's just when I think about what I want in life it's all very far away and thinking about it makes me feel physically uncomfortable like my skin is too tight. 
Reading that back I feel really embarrassed I think this way, but it's the truth so I'll leave it there. 

Anyway, as always, I'm here for anyone to talk to who is struggling with any mental health or life problems !
Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 12 August 2012

August 12, 2012

Well damn, it's been a really long time since I've written one of these ! It's hard to know where to start. . I'm sorry I can't be bothered reading the last post and figuring out what has changed, probably not much. I'm working full time, still with my dearest Morgy, and gosh, what else. I don't really do anything except leave the house to work at the moment. That sounds sad, and I guess it is really sad, to be honest. I've been frightfully depressed, with varying degrees of intensity, over the past few months with perhaps only a fortnights hypomania in between. It's been very draining, and I've been lacking any kind of spark to write anything, or communicate with anyone at all, outside my family.

After an overnight stay in hospital, I declined to stay in an inpatient treatment facility, as I felt being separated from Morgan and my family for any amount of time would only be detrimental to my recovery from this relapse into depression. I did manage to get an appointment with my psychiatrist for a review, and he deemed that my migraine prevention drugs might be causing my depression, or prolonging it. So now I'm being taken off them, and so far, 1 headache already on the reduced dose. I'm worried about how I am going to go when I have to go off of them entirely as they've worked so well in stopping my headaches entirely, but my doctor assures me that there are plenty of other options we can try. If this fails to help my depression, I have to be put on quetiapine, or 'seroquel' as it's otherwise known, and hopefully that will be able to help me get back on track..

I bought some books today as it occurred to me that I've never actually done much reading on bipolar disorder, so hopefully when the books arrive it will be something to keep me busy and informed. . I can only hope it will help me understand my wacky brain just a little better. I've got nothing to lose, and something to gain, so why not ? I can't imagine what 'The bipolar survival guide' is going to do to help, but it certainly caught my attention.

A thought occurred to me the other day. . I think I'm too hopeful, and expect too much. I don't know what I expect too much of - life, maybe ? Myself ? My body ? Every time I get better I always think it's going to be permanent, and then when I relapse into depression (of course I don't so much mind the mania or hypomania) it's so much more crushing because I didn't expect it. As sad as it sounds, I need to give up hope. I need to learn to accept what I have, and go with it ! Of course I can fight it, I will never stop believing that life can be better, but I need to learn my limits, understand that this is the way it is and always will be. If by some miracle I get better, and I don't ever have to take medication again, and I only ever get sad when there's a reason to, then that's a massive bonus and yay for me ! But I can't keep doing this to myself. I need to put this here, in writing, as a reminder. . I need to stop lying to myself. I need to keep my mind aware and prepare for the next battle. Not dwell on it, but be prepared for it.And there's a difference.

It's just been a really rough time lately, especially the last few weeks, I cried at work (how embarrassing, urgh) the one place I thought I could hide. I haven't been seeing my friends as much - Ellana if you read this.. I miss you. Gemma, I'm sorry we don't see each other as much as we used to.. I haven't even been seeing my family as much as usual. It's just so hard. Because I know the people in my life genuinely care about me, and so when I see you, it's so hard to pretend I'm okay, and that life is okay. I can be a fraud to anyone but you. So please don't ask me how I am. I'll tell you if I need to. Just distract me from everything.

I just want to finish on a positive note - I WILL get through this. It's tough now. But I will be okay. My doctors and I have a plan in action and I believe it will work, but if it doesn't, that's okay. We'll try another. Thank you to everyone who has been putting up with me lately and have been supporting me.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

March 25, 2012

Today I realised just how long it has been since I've written a blog post, so here it is !

I was going through a couple of tumblr blogs of girls who I must admit I don't really know - I've only met them a few times or just know them over facebook or whatever. These girls suffer from bipolar disorder like myself, or other mental illnesses, and it made me realise just how lucky I am. These girls seem to struggle with stability in terms of relationships, work, sleeping, eating, etc. my heart truly goes out to them. Even though I went through a really hard time when I was diagnosed solely with depression and treated only with antidepressants, as soon as I got the correct diagnosis and put on the right medication my life improved so drastically. I do have to put up with horrible side effects, but I have gained so much that I would never consider going back to how I was before. I have an amazing boyfriend who I live with and have been with for over 2 years, and loves me despite all my craziness and I am forever grateful for that. I have an amazing relationship with my beautiful parents and siblings who don't even think twice about my silly moods and give me so many hugs when I'm sad. I am just about to start a full time job at a place that I enjoy working at, and work with awesome people, with a boss who understands I have issues sometimes. So to anyone out there that is suffering with a mental illness. . I know I always say this, but it is so worth taking the time to go to the doctor and trying to get help because life doesn't have to revolve around what mood your brain decides to put you in.

I guess the only really significant thing that I'm dealing with at the moment is migraines. . I am having them around 3 or 4 days a week and it's driving me nuts. The nausea, light and sound sensitivity, how walking making my head pound more. . Urgh ! I started a blood pressure medication a week or two ago to try and help but the side effects were too much. I became hideously depressed and tired and so I gave up after 4 days. I start a new medication this week which will hopefully help ! It's an anticonvulsant called topiramate, and one of the side effects is weight loss which I hope I have, considering I have put on a bit of weight due to the valproate I take :(

Anyway, if anyone has any topics they'd like me to write about - feel free to contact me ! I am running out of ideas.

Thanks for reading :D

<3 B

Sunday, 12 February 2012

February 12, 2012

Well just thought I'd write a new blog post to distract myself from how I feel right now. . A huge problem I've had for a couple of years now is restlessness - not just normal restlessness, but an intense feeling of crawling under my skin, kind of IN my knees and elbows, where I am often left jumping and running around to try and get rid of it (it sounds weird but it FEELS like it will work) and scratching my joints to pieces. My psychiatrist has been adjusting my medication a bunch (and by adjusting I mean increasing), but it only feels like it's getting worse. By friday afternoon I was ready to smash my knees in with a hammer, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I've had to take more valium than usual because it's the only thing that really works to help calm me down and dull the feeling which isn't something I really want to do.

Which is why I'd like to ask you guys - has anyone experienced this symptom, known as akathisia ? I have it in mostly my knees and elbows, and I'm currently on 1.5g of valproate, 20mg of paxtine and (when needed) 5mg of valium daily. If anyone out there has experienced it and had it treated, what did your doctor use ? I really, really can't stand this much longer.


Friday, 20 January 2012

January 21, 2012

Hi everyone !

WOW. So much has gone on since I last wrote a blog post >.< I guess from the psychiatry side of things, I was feeling pretty god damn sleepy again for a while there, after christmas and over new years. When I say sleepy I mean physically tired, but also low on motivation, generally couldn't make myself do very much at all. Early january I met my new, permanent psychiatrist who is a really lovely man and he decided that while valproate is the best stabilizer for me at the moment, I need an antidepressant added to the mix. He prescribed me Aropax, which is an antidepressant designed to target panic attacks aswell as I suffer from them so frequently and without reason and I have to say, it's working quite well. I no longer take naps during the day and my appetite is surpressed which is good as valproate was making me gain weight D: I have to see him again monday to note my progress so I will let you know how that goes :)

Also in early january I saw a rheumatologist about the joint pain I was getting, and he ordered a bunch of blood tests + put me on some medication for lupus/arthritis called Plaquenil. The medication has settled my joints but it really hurts my stomach, unfortunately. . I feel nauseas for a few hours after I take it, and I'm meant to take it twice a day D: I have to see him again in february to get my results back and a proper diagnosis so hopefully he can change the medicine then because I don't really want to keep on taking it.

Last weekend Morgan, my beautiful sister Shelby and I took a road trip to Melbourne to see our friends, Harry, Ned and Mikhail for a couple of days. It was an awesome time to just hang out and relax, get away from work + stress and have a good time. I got lots of rest which was good as I've been suffering from a lot of stomach related side effects from Plaquenil. We also had a mini party on saturday night and it was super fun ! I can't wait to go back and hang out with them again :)

Finally I guess I should mention what has been happening over the last few days. I had a small surgical procedure on wednesday morning, and I don't really want to talk about what procedure it was or why, because while I am very open on this blog, it's not really related to my mental health and it's just very personal. TOO personal. In any case, it was just meant to be a small day surgery and I was meant to be home that afternoon. My fear of needles made getting the drip put in the most disgusting, awful thing ever but I survived and was knocked out straight away anyway. The surgery went well and my parents picked me up with a big plush elephant for me, which was so cute of them ! Unfortunately the few hours I was home for I lost a huge amount of blood and eventually collapsed on my way to the area of the hospital I had to go, which was really scary. I was whisked away and taken straight to a bed with another huge drip put in me, blood taken, fluids given, etc. I had to stay overnight because the doctor wanted to operate again the next morning but when the time came he decided the bleeding had stopped enough for me to go home with no further surgery, thank god.

I guess the main point I wanted to make was, I really thought I was going to die in a hospital corridor.. It really puts things into perspective. Not only do I feel so much more appreciative of everyone in my life, but god, they have been so good to me. Everyone has been running around worrying about me, my family have been making sure I've had everything I need, it's been so sweet. The afternoon I was admitted to hospital and they put this giant drip into my arm I was crying so much and my mum was hugging me and stroking my hair.. I could have never done it without her there. And as soon as Morgan finished work and found out where I was he rushed over to see me with doritos and trashy magazines, what a catch he is ! So yes - don't wait until something bad happens to tell people how much they mean to you. Appreciate all the amazing people in your life every second you can !

<3 B

Friday, 23 December 2011

December 23, 2011

Just figured I'd update my blog because I'm really bored currently and haven't for ages and ages !

I suppose the most significant things that have happened recently were that I finished university + passed all my topics, and my 21st birthday. So I'll just ramble about those things for awhile.

University - I'm sure going to miss that place. I'll miss learning in a structured environment, but hey, I can always continue with my own studying. I've been working about 4 days a week lately which has been okay really, better than I expected. When I was studying I always wondered how the hell I was going to work full time when I found working just 2 days a week draining and stressful ! However, with no university to worry about, it's going okay and I'm looking forward to having lots of money when I pay off all my christmas debts :)

My 21st birthday was pretty quiet. . . As I don't drink alcohol anymore I wasn't in a particularly party mood, but having my family over was nice and everyone gave me such great gifts + money for a tattoo I want which is awesome. I kind of thought I'd feel more grown up or something, I'm not sure why, I've never felt different on any other birthday, but this one is meant to be important or something.

 I suppose in some ways my birthday has changed my thinking - next year I really want to get my health on track. I have an appointment with a rheumatologist about my constant joint pain, and I'm not sure if my fatigue and headaches might go with whatever is causing that (if anything). I've also found myself a permanent psychiatrist, who I'm hoping can help me with something to feel a bit better about my weight because it's really worrying me and making me sad lately. I know I don't look over weight or anything, but after putting so much effort into losing weight in the first place, putting most of it back on is really frustrating and I feel so out of control of myself. I'd love to get back into exercise too when I'm not so damn tired all the time. I'm just frustrated because I don't know if there is something wrong with me or it's my medication so I don't know how to help myself.

I suppose on the topic of my bipolar I have to say my moods have been pretty good lately, I've been really happy aside from the last day or two when I've felt so grumpy and sad for no reason, but hopefully christmas will be enough to drag me out of this slump. I also got my cheeks pierced today which made me feel better - i love facing my fears ! I was so god damn nervous but having my mum there with me made me feel better and it went really well :D

Anyway, I guess that's all I have to say. Sorry it wasn't a very interesting post tonight - just wanted everyone to know I'm still alive.