A week of mixed emotions

First I would like to express a sincere apology for not being active lately. I have enjoyed being a part of the blogger sphere, not just through my own posts, but reading other blogs. It has filled a void and I’m grateful to have found such a wonderful outlet.

My return to university has finally arrived. My focus has been pulled in a different direction, however this is a positive thing as I begin to rebuild after almost two years on the sidelines.

Such is the subject of this post. It is nice to be doing something again. I am feeling stimulated and a sense of purpose has returned. I very much believe in the path I am taking, however I am somewhat conflicted about the timing in terms of my age. Self doubt also makes me wonder whether I am trying in vein.

Yesterday was a good day, but it wasn’t without it’s triggers. I put the finishing touches on the first week back of uni. I was also up earlier than normal and had some time to take in the first day’s play of the first test between Australia and South Africa. I decided to call a friend, just for a chat and before I knew it, I was in the car to go and see him for the first time in months.

Anxiety started to take hold during the drive up. This is not uncommon when I head into a social situation, hence the need to avoid social contact for the sake of self-preservation. Despite this, I was completely comfortable when I arrived and it was nice see people that I actually care about and think about often. Towards the end of the night, I began to get a headache, and during the drive back home, anxiety had just about escalated to a full blown panic attack. By the time I was home, I was quick to get into bed and looked forward to getting a good nights sleep. Today I have emerged flat, feeling that sense of emptiness which has become all too familiar as time rapidly goes by.

The friends that I saw yesterday are starting to do really well for themselves and make no mistake, it has only come through hard work and perseverance. This is the thing that really gives me the shits about having Bipolar. I want to work hard to get ahead in life. I don’t like waking up in the middle of the day because the medication I take the night before has such a strong effect, my body doesn’t wake up until it says that’s it time to. I want to be up at a time where I can eat some breakfast, go for a walk, come back for a shower and then start the day. Even more, I would like to have a job to go to, socialise after work, or have a partner/family to come home to. I would like to be able to go out for dinner and visit people on the weekends. Just normal everyday things that other people take for granted.

I completely hate where I am in life. The grasp this illness has over me is difficult to comprehend at times, let alone accept. And there lies the situation as it is at the present time. Fluctuating between anger and acceptance. I am grateful for the things I have. My situation could be so much worse. I have a roof over my head, I can pay my bills. I can buy food and feed myself. But living in this fashion and being on my own doesn’t sit well whatsoever.

I remain conflicted about who I am and why things are the way they are. I am searching for some peace so that I can accept things for the way they are and continue to strive for something better.

Meds Suck!

I have spent a fair chunk of this year trying to get my medication cocktail right. It’s been draining to say the least.

Added to the mix was the recent diagnosis of ADHD. I have also been slowly tapering off an anti-depressant.

The end result, as things presently stand, is that my day consists of two very different halves. One is waking from a deep sleep which can last from 10-12 hours. The other is one of calm and focus thanks to the ADD medication. It’s weird territory to be in. On one hand I can barely drag myself out of bed because of residual effects from last night’s medications. On the other hand, I resent going to bed because of the sheer dread of the repeating cycle.

Throw in the odd panic attack (mainly when I first wake up), feeling restless and/or racing thoughts (mainly during the evening), life with Bipolar is far from convenient.

I dread to think that if I was still employed, how could I possibly survive in the long term. I think the medications work, but they are not practical in terms of supporting a “normal” existence. There is a deep resentment that this illness has robbed me of so much and continues to do so.

Most of the things that I crave seem out of reach. Sustaining employment, having a relationship, raising a child, attending social gatherings (social anxiety is a separate issue and probably deserves it’s own post, so I’ll just leave that one there for now). Limiting stress is a big part of the Bipolar equation. Unfortunately for me, this results in complete avoidance. I only go out when I have to. I dare not look for work for the fear of a repeated episode. I dare not seek a relationship as I barely have anything to offer, both financially and physically. I get overwhelmed interacting with groups of people. The end result is isolation and as painful as that may be, it’s better than putting myself and others through any unnecessary grief.

Medications are both friend and enemy. I’m not quite sure which one outweighs the other.

Until next time,

Peace!