My Journey Through Bipolar Disorder — A Current Journal

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Part 2

by Christina Pelllegrino

Living with bipolar disorderWritten to myself: 7/19/17

Know this will pass. It’s not forever. Do what you can to be comfortable now. Everything is ok. I know it all feels like such a mess, like everything is wrong. But it’s just the chemicals in your head. Nothing is wrong. It is ok. It will pass. It always does. You do deserve so much more. I know you’re in pain. I’m so sorry. It’s not fair to you. You need to stay strong. Don’t let it destroy you. You are ok. You have a ton of support and you have been through this before. You have incredible strength. Not feeling right sucks. It’s painful. But your doing everything you can. Please stay strong. Nothing is wrong. Everything is ok. It’s just in your head. Do not be afraid.

Doctors appointment: 7/25/17

Moved up my doctor’s appointment, just by one day. That’s how excruciating the pain is, that’s how much I need it to stop. If I could get on with our treatment plan just a mere 24 hours earlier, I’m desperate. The panic attacks are too much. The fear of missing the birth of my 1st goddaughter; images of myself lying in bed depressed on this joyous occasion haunt me.

The appointment goes ok. Mentions of hospitalizations and joining a day program are brought up, two ideas which are just not ok with me, the hospital for sure. That’s like the recipe for anxiety, along with a day program having me in group sessions; I do not do well in groups. Anyway, once the dreaded mention of that was over, it was back to the pill talk. Congratulations to myself, I have reached top dosage of Vraylar. I’ve got three weeks to see if I respond or its back to the drawing board.

Pushing myself to challenge my thoughts, feeling like it’s really up to me to switch these energies and find my center. Its so confusing and feels like I may make things worse at times but I’ve got to give it my all. I’ve got to find and use that inner strength and show myself I have some power and I will not back down to this beast.

Everything feeling so big of a decision because what if this or what if that? It becomes so debilitating — it’s like how can I possibly go out into the world like this? Just so uncomfortable in my own skin.

Called the doctor: 7/27/17

Something just does not feel right. Its like my brain is confused and missing a major piece for recovery, and no its not the hospital or a day program. I called my doctor. I feel like I need to add back the Wellbutrin. I had been on it for years and years and any time we touched it, I always had an issue. I trusted this new doctor with lowering it; she thought it might have been contributing to my mood fluctuations. But now I’m not so sure that was the right move. I spoke with her and we have added back the Wellbutrin. I feel better at the moment; thinking I have an antidepressant and mood stabilizer on my side, please bring me some relief.

A little relief: 7/28/17

Feeling a little more normal, a little more me. Like I am in control of my reactions more or better yet, I am just not reacting at all to the nonsense. My head is quieter, I feel more alive. Things don’t feel like the world is ending, I kind of just am here and I’ll take it. I am not sure if I can attribute it to the Wellbutrin but I believe it may have a little something to do with it. Having it back in my system 2 days, lets hope this is the answer and I will be able to move forward.

A new day: 7/29/17

Started talking on a support group website. Was feeling so alone. It was helpful, for I was in the right state to communicate. Crazy how many people are affected by this, and debilitated like I am. It’s not right.

Trying to incorporate some new things. Doing a couple yoga headstands to start my day, get some fresh blood to my brain. I’m feeling kind of ok; know that it can change so trying to build on it. Going to make myself a protein drink to get all my vitamins. Lets hope this lasts.

Emotional: 7/30/17

Trying to adjust appropriately to feeling a little better. Still very hard being around people. Its just because I have such doubts about my self and my identity still. Finding my footing and its just like I don’t really fit in anywhere. Would love to go back home to my apartment but still don’t feel ready. Trying not to get retriggered by anything. Staying by moms is the safest move for me right now and safe is what I need.

Rough day with my emotions. Just want to feel normal. Trying so hard- detoxing, took dog out for nice walk, did a 30-minute yoga session with poses for depression and anxiety. I just don’t know how I even live like this. How I even survive

From night to day: 7/31/17

Had a meltdown this morning. Followed by a call to the doc, upped the Wellbutrin and had a turn around of a day. Not sure what to attribute it to. Dealing with some anxiety due to quite the drastic mood shift. Trying to just enjoy the moment. Could I be breaking free from this mental hell? Is it finally time? I just want to stay in this zone, it feels amazing to just feel normal.

Bumps in the road: 8/3/17

Woke up with severe tightness in my chest. Took both Gabapetin and Ativan and went back to bed for a few hours. I didn’t sleep all night, had all these anxious thoughts which turned into anxious dreams, not the most restorative night.

Yesterday really took a toll on me. There were thunderstorms all day and Buster does not do well with them. He was in full out destruction mode, going crazy with his anxiety before I could even get him meds to calm him down. I felt so helpless, I couldn’t do anything to get him to relax; my anxiety spiked through the roof, I was a total mess, hysterical crying. I am sure my body went into danger mode and was pumping out all kinds of hormones. Today’s body aches have to be an after effect of all that, no doubt in my mind.

Hoping for an ok day today. I just want to feel like I can breathe. Like I am not constantly fighting being sucked down a drain.

Yet another call into the doctor, its nighttime now and I’m really not feeling right. Overwhelmed more than I can bear. It’s so painful. I’m hysterical, my anxiety feels likes its going to kill me. Took my meds to try to dull it. Something feels wrong. What is happening to me? Doctor isn’t too helpful, we are stopping the Vraylar, the medication she was oh so confident was the one that was going to help me. I feel defeated. I feel hopeless. Now it’ll be weeks before I can try another mood stabilizer, which we know I need. I don’t know anymore. Seeking a second opinion.

Few rough days: 8/7/17

The past few days have been really rough. I broke down several times, feeling like my head is going to explode from all the thoughts that just aren’t in alignment. That just feels wrong. Today woke up feeling a little bit better. Started Seroquel last night. Hoping that brings me some relief soon. I have a lot of anxiety I am working through.

Shaky: 8/8/17

Feeling very fragile right now. Like my anxiety can pounce at any moment. Having a hard time processing my emotions. I see the doctor this afternoon.

Appointment went really well. So glad I switched back to my old psychiatrist who helped me years ago. She has such compassion and knowledge; I know I am in good hands. We are working on upping the Seroquel but have to be careful because Vraylar still in my system for another week or so.

Nightmares: 8/9/17

So I experienced these awful anxious uncomfortable nightmares all night last night. I know it can be a side effect from switching medications and what not, so trying to just ride it out. But I woke up just feeling god-awful.

Sleep: 8/11/17

All I want to do is sleep. To be honest it’s a relief, to not have the extreme anxiety and just be deeply depressed and want sleep. I prefer it, if I have to pick between the two. At least I am somewhat comfortable. It feels like I’m not really even alive, like I’m just here watching life, and can’t be a part of it. And its like part of me is starting to accept that. Accept my extreme loneliness and isolation; I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t run from myself, but at same time it feels like myself is lost and I need to find, I’m falling apart. Shutting down. Basically sleeping through it.

Some relief: 8/12/17

My sleep continued into today. I’m just down, which is manageable. At least I am calm. I am not really thinking about anything, I just kind of exist. Similar day to yesterday — I spent most of it in bed. I connected with a couple people on a support forum online so I texted with them most of the day. Talking to people who are experiencing similar symptoms made me feel a little less isolated, more understood.

I did take a shower, which it’s been a few days since I was able to do that, so accomplishment there! Upped the Seroquel again to 250 tonight. I am almost at therapeutic dose. Will see the doctor again on Monday for follow up.

A little more me: 8/13/17

I seem to be gradually improving. Feel less tired today so maybe I am adjusting to the Seroquel now. I am ok. I still have no interest or motivation to do much but I will take the improvement. At least I am moving in the right direction. I feel very fragile and like I can be easily set off or triggered so I am playing it safe and just staying home, enjoying the moment that I am able to just relax. Being able to simply just watch TV is so nice. Upping Seroquel to 300 tonight.

On my way: 8/14/17

Had a great doctor’s appointment today. We seem to be on track with our wellness plan. I am making gradual improvements and the hope is that by the end of the week, once the Vraylar is out of my system, I will be feeling much better. My motivation is still very low, it’s a lot of effort to function, so I’m trying to just take it easy.

Started playing Lumosity online to give my brain a little bit of a work out. I feel like I am doing something good for my mind, keeping it occupied and functioning in a good capacity, and it helps pass the time.

Struggling: 8/15/17

Woke up really just feeling off today. I hate that feeling, when things just don’t seem right. I am a bit uneasy and don’t know what I can do for myself. Meditating right now feels too challenging because I’m just in this very distracted disconnected vibration. I feel like I can’t handle much of anything right now. Just very stuck.

Horrible day, it continued to get worse. I am severely depressed; my head feels like it weighs 100 pounds, I don’t care about anything. It’s like I’m not even alive. I have no idea what’s going on. It feels like every single time I regain some hope or feel like I am progressing it comes back with a vengeance and hits me harder. Life feels so dark, so painful. How I could change so drastically into a deeper depression terrifies me. Stayed in bed all day today and I just hate everything. My chest is constricted. It doesn’t feel like I am even breathing, everything is so dull. I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I’m not right. What is wrong with me?