Do you ever feel like a burden to those you love?
I do. Right now I feel like a huge burden and with that feeling, a heavy weight settles on my chest. I don't like being dependant on anyone. I feel more at ease when I am taking care of myself, but right now I feel overwhelmed and fatiqued. I just can't find any motivation or desire.
I listened to my podcast from last winter, when my depression had me in it's grips and it made me cry. Listening to my voice and my words was too much. I don't want to get that bad again. I don't want to get anywhere near that again, ever.
But I am heading there, slowly and painfully.
I don't want to get out of bed and as soon as I can, I want to get back into bed. Sleep or not, I want to be wrapped up in my blankets and safe. I want to lay there in the quiet void. I do the things I must, such as take my daughter to school and pick her up. Then I want to lay back down until bedtime. But I have to get dinner ready, after that I am officially off. Except when my daughter or my boyfriend wants to be with me or speak to me.
The farther I sink into this nothingness, the less I want to be around them. It is too much to pretend I am okay.
I got clean today because I had to go get groceries. Tomorrow I will get clean because I have to go to work.
I am already stressing the fact that I have to work the next 7 days straight, which means I have to get clean everyday and function like a normal, well grown up. So now the anxiety kicks in to just make things worse. I will go from laying in bed in the void to laying in bed with obsessive thoughts and worries.
I started the new med, Geodon and I know it will take a few weeks to settle into my system. I just don't believe I can make it through a few weeks like this.
I can't believe how hard it is to come off a med and start a new one. Because of my depression creeping back in it was decided that I would come off my abilify and start Geodon. I am on a low does of Abilify so it is just a week to come off it. I have had to wait to start the Geodon as my pharmacy doesn't have it and was going to need to pull it from several different sources. Doesn't that sound like a winner from the word go. I went and had my lithium level checked at the same time.
My psych nurse shops at my grocery store and when she sees me she always stop to discreetly ask me how I am doing. Normally like many of you, I say "I am fine." even when I am not. Instead I looked at her and stated I am not good. She replied that my lithium level was at the bottom of theraputic and to take one more pill to see if we could boost it.
By doing so, we are back to the 1200 mg's I was on this summer when I felt good. When I felt so good I asked if we could lower things to see if I would do well on less meds. What a mistake that was. I felt good at that time. Now I feel like utter hell. So this is day 2 of adding in the extra Lithium pill.
I want results now, but I know it will take weeks to get everything in my system at just the right amounts. I also know that this new med may not work.
At my appointment, I asked if we were running out of options for meds that are in my price range and was told yes. That kinda sucked to hear, but I know they want me on the newer meds and I just can't afford them.
I just feel like a mess. I am so tired. I am so weary. I could curl up in my covers and just stare at the ceiling and sleep. I just want to sleep. I just don't want to function. Actually I don't feel like I can function. I can't focus. I can't listen. I feel flat and deflated.
I am still aware enough to know that this will pass. I know that either the new meds will help or that they won't and I have a follow up appointment in two weeks. I also know I can leave a message that I am not doing well and that I will get a phone call.
I know all of that so dispair hasn't taken over. I am hovering around in that void, that is neither bad nor worse. No suicidal thoughts, just overwhelm.
Just wanted to share this sad update, so we can appreciate when I am feeling better.
I am still not sleeping well at night. I wake up too many times. The quantity and quality of my sleep are bad. I have listened to several of Dr. Mark Hyman's podcast on brain health and sleep. The one I listened to today was a teaser for an intense study on sleep issues. Even as a teaser, there was so much information to take in.
If you are like me and either can't fall asleep or can't stay asleep, I have included some links to the information from the podcast I listened to today. I wish I could give you a link to the podcast but it was one of those podcast you had to sign up for. Ba Hum Bug!
First I learned how important Melatonin is to the sleep-wake process. I didn't know that Melatonin is a hormone released by the Pineal Glad. A hormone? I thought it was just a vitamin. Dr. Hyman says there are studies showing that Melatonin helps prevent Cancer. What a big statement. He went on to say that lack of sleep correlates with getting cancer. So poor quality sleep is tied to getting cancer.
For those of us with poor quality sleep, this is scary news. I personally haven't slept well since before my teen years. While I can't undue all of the damage I have accumulated, I can add Melatonin to my nightly pill regimine. Regarding the dose, I have no clue and will talk to my doctor about that.
Another thing to talk to your doctor about is your Iron level as low iron can cause sleep disruptions. I don't know the last time I had my iron level checked. Adding to my list of level checks the next time I have my lithium done.
He also said you need to keep your B vitatimins up, specifically B6 and B12.
Lack of sleep has also been connected to Alzheimers Disease, which is a disease of inflammation. Lack of sleep also is tied to obesity, weight gain, and depression.
Dr. Hyman says part of how he manages his sleep is through a healthy sleep routine. First he doesn't eat or drink three hours before bed. That is a really difficult one for me as we eat within three hours of bed and I usually have a drink at the end of dinner into the evening. He also has no screen time three hours before bed. I am on my phone right up until I put my head down on the pillow. Already there is some work for me to do to create a healthy bed time routine.
He said he meditates at least once a day for 20 minutes and a second time if he can squeeze it into the afternoon. He goes to bed early each night after a long hot bath with lavender essential oil. The hot bath raises his body temperature which makes it easier to fall asleep and his body cools down. He said the lavender oil lowers cortisol which is the fight or flight hormone. So lowering it helps calm his brain.
The final thing he mentioned was to add Magnesium to your sleep cycle pill regimine. Magnesium is a mineral that helps to calm and relax the mind and body. You can take this orally or in the form of a epsom salt bath. Again, I need to talk to my doctor to see what a safe and effective does is of these pills. Taking more than needed of some vitamins and minerals can cause severe diahreah. Nobody has time for that shit!
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190227173111.htm Not All Sleep Is Equal
https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/health-news/deep-sleep-cleanses-the-brain Deep Sleep Cleanses the Brain
https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/490349 The Glymphatic System and Waste Clearance with the Aging Brain
https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2015/aug/22/how-to-optimise-your-brains-waste-disposal-system How to Optimize Your Brain's Waste Disposal System
https://www.awakeningfromalzheimers.com/for-a-healthier-brain-sleep-like-this/ For a Healthier Brain Sleep Like This
"Let's talk about how hard it is to explain to your friends and family that you have this heavy feeling in your chest for no reason." Talking to friends and family about your depression is really difficult to do. They want the depression to be connected to a situation, something they can understand and possibly fix for you. While I do suffer with situational stress, anxiety and depression, I also suffer with Bipolar Depression. Bipolar depression comes out of nowhere and can't be connected to any one situation. It just is. It is like being under a strong wave and caught up in the undertow. Depression is so damn heavy.
Succumbing to depression feels like a great failure. If I were stronger, I would be able to keep depression at bay. If I were braver, I would be able to pull myself out of the blues. If I just got out and exercised I would stop this depression in it's tracks. If I were more grateful I would see I have no reason to be depressed. But I am not stronger, braver, grateful or motivated to get out. I am slowly drowning in depression. I don't mean to, but once it starts it seems daunting to get through.
I go to my therapist appointments and we talk about what is going on to see if it is situational or Bipolar. We discuss med changes and I hate med changes. Three weeks or more of gambling that the change will ease me back to normal. Three weeks of the withdrawl of meds and waiting for the new drug to take hold. Even small med tweeks of dosage cause chaos with your system. Then you go back to your therapist to see if the med change worked. Some times it does, but just as often it doesn't. This is usually weeks of screwing with your system and lots of ups and downs.
I have an appointment next week and I will bring her up to speed that while the anxiety we were focused on was situational this time, and is being controlled by the meds, my depression could be from the chaotic past few weeks, but it isn't going away or being held at bay right now with my current meds.
What does depression feel like to me? I feel so damn tired, bone weary. Somedays I could nap forever. My nights are broken into waking up every hour or two to flip. I am awake enough to know I am awake and flipping. I get irritated that I am awake again. We bought a new bed a year ago thinking that might be the cause of my flipping and waking up, but even on the new bed, I am waking and flipping. Maybe this is perimenapause? Maybe it is Bipolar? I don't know. I feel overwhelmed by everything. Completely overwhelmed.
For me, sliding into depression means not wanting to bathe. I want to be clean, but the process seems just too much work. I don't want to be cold. I don't want to have to dry my hair. I don't want to get out of the clothes I am wearing as they are toasty warm. I want to just wake up and stay in my pj's. I just want to stay in bed.
My appetite comes and goes and I crave sugar and carbs. But neither of them give me any energy. When my appetite goes away, I rely on Boost drinks to get some type of nutrition in my body. Or when I am hungry, I eat tons of snacks throughout the day. Some of which are good for me and some are pure junk.
My irriation level also sky rockets. I become easily irritated and angry. I get mad about the clutter in my house and want to throw everything away. The clutter feels like the walls are closing in on me. And I can't get anyone to understand.
I have a short temper and snap at those I love about the strangest things. My aggrevation doesn't make sense. It is just a buzz inside my head that makes me uncomfortable.
When I can nap and fall asleep, I am at my most happy. I could nap the day away when sleep finds me. When I lay down to nap and can't find sleep, I am completly pissed. It is awful to be sleepy and nodding off only to lay down and have my mind busy. I just want to lay in bed and forget everything.
One of the worst aspects of Bipolar Depression is the brain fog. I used to have a sharp mind, like a tack. When I am in the fog, everythings seems difficult. Work related task fly in and out of my head. I try to write them all down, but sometimes I forget to. Some times I write the task down and still forget to do them. It is very embarrasing. Buying groceries is an olympic sport which both makes me anxious and zaps my energy. Conversations are hard to follow because my attention comes and goes. So I don't want to try to connect with friends because I feel overwhelmed connecting. I also feel like a whiney bitch who is in constant turmoil. I don't want to tell my friends about another episode of depression because I feel so damn needy. I don't want to be so dependant and needy. I can remember when I was the friend who everyone could count on. Now, I feel horrible.
"Let people feel the weight of who you really are and let them fucking deal with it." To me that means finding the courage to sit with those I love and say, right now I am in that dark, ugly place where all I want to do is cry and sleep. I don't feel like being brave to keep you in the dark. I don't want to scare you, but I am feeling depressed. Easier said then done.