Exciting News!!!

So much so that I’m writing another post even though the once scheduled for today has already been published!!

For those of you who don’t know, I left uni way back in July/August after having some anxiety/mania/very nearly running away issues.  The whole situation obviously wasn’t working.

So, since then I’ve just been pottering round, doing a bit of knitting, wool cross-stitch, and a recent foray into crochet.  There’s also been a reasonable amount of time on the ol’ Xbox 360.  Since we also got a dishwasher during this time, I’ve been able to stick to a routine of doing housework (much to J’s delight I’m sure).  Who’d thought having a dishwasher would have such a positive flow-on effect.

Anyway, this obviously wasn’t going to be enough to keep me entertained indefinitely.  I’ve known for a while that I want to be a librarian.  The plan had been to finish my degree, then go on to do the post-grad diploma required.  Since that was not going to happen now, I decided to look into changing my major to Humanities, Information and Library Studies.  This isn’t offered at the University of Canterbury.  So I applied to enrol at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, where I’ll be able to complete it via correspondence.  Because this degree is a double major, I won’t be able to cross-credit any of the papers I’ve already done (that’s just the way their system works), but because I already have experience in the humanities area, it means I can get around some of the pre-requisites that are required for certain papers, making it easier to plan what papers I’ll be doing when.  I could have done the single major, but I really wanted to include the humanities/social sciences side of things.  Of course, if J happens to get a job somewhere that isn’t in New Zealand/can’t be done from New Zealand, that’s going to make things a little tricky, but it’s just the way it is for now.  Shouldn’t be an issue in the immediate future.

And this is where I get to the exciting news bit (because that’s the reason you’re here after all).  I got confirmation today that my application has been accepted and I start on 11 November!  (I did get verbal confirmation on Wednesday, but now it’s official.)  Just the one paper at this stage, because that’s all which is on offer in the third trimester for Level 5, and getting back into it slowly is probably a good idea anyway.

It’s all very exciting stuff guys!!



If you’re reading this anywhere but That Girl, Fae or a feed reader without attribution, it has been STOLEN! Who knew that my stuff was that good? ~ Fae

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That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Gotta Fix It

So, on Friday I went to the doctor about this mania I talked about the other day.

She’s just a regular GP, so doesn’t have any expertise when it comes to bipolar and introducing new meds. GPs just tend to continue prescribing what your psychiatrist prescribe once you’re no longer seeing them. Unfortunately, this means that when you need something to be changed, they really have no idea.

My GP was fully upfront about this, and wasn’t comfortable with prescribing anything for the bipolar directly. However, she was willing to do something about the insomnia. Now I’m on 25mg/day of Seroquel for 30 days. Seroquel is actually a second generation antipsychotic, which is prescribed at higher doses for bipolar. It’s used off-label for insomnia.

So far it’s dealt with the insomnia, almost a little too well, and I’m now getting about 12 hours of sleep per night, as opposed to the five-ish I was getting before. It takes a week or so for it to start working on the mania.

My GP also sent a referral to the Mental Health Unit, and said I should contact them myself too. Having just spoken to someone there, I should get a call tomorrow about an appointment in the next few days.

I always feel silly when I describe what’s happening to me. Like it’s not actually that bad, and that I should just be able to deal with it. Maybe that’s because I’m comparing myself to the way bipolar etc is portrayed in the media, which I know is always the extreme. But then I start thinking, is it though? Is there actually something wrong with me? Maybe I’m just not a nice person, and the “quiet nature” I have (to quote my GP) is all just a facade, which cracks over time, showing people what I’m really like until I’m able to patch it up again.

It’s not like I’m violent, or I’m going to hurt myself, or anyone else.

Maybe all of this is a cry for attention. The irrational behaviour I’ve been having is all just quietly calculated.

But that doesn’t really make sense. And isn’t exactly the actions of a normal, mentally healthy person. And it honestly isn’t until later that I realise how irrational some of my behaviour has been. At the time, I think my actions/reactions are perfectly justified.

And I still can’t write anything for NaNoWriMo. It would seem I peaked on my first day, which is really disappointing. I know I can write. I think it’s another case of me thinking everyone else who succeeds in that area is so much better than me, better than I’ll ever be, so why even bother. I’ll never achieve that greatness.

I have all the ideas in there. I know the bare-bones of it all. But I’m too impatient to put all the connections in, to bulk it out into something that others would actually find interesting, that would pull them in and make them want to read more, to find out how Matti Howarth gets to be running through that forest. And I just don’t think I’m good enough to do it. Everything I write just seems to amateurish. I don’t know how to write in a descriptive manner that brings it all to life in the reader’s mind.

I know it takes time, and practice. But I want it all to be amazing right now. I’m far too impatient to piss around with substandard beginnings. I want things to be brilliant, and I want them to be brilliant right now!

I think that’s my problem with everything I try. If things aren’t fantastic and amazing from the get-go, then I give up. I can’t see what the point is. Which is stupid. I know it is. But I can’t get around the problem. I don’t know how. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. I don’t think I’m good enough, that I can do it, so I can’t. And I don’t know how to change that faulty wiring.

Maybe I should just try some stream-of-consciousness-type writing. That’s what I initially thought I would do for this first NaNoWriMo. But I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get away from the need for structure. It’s so frustrating! I can do it for non-fiction writing (just look at this post for example, it’s all over the place), but when it comes to fiction, for some reason everything needs to be precise and perfect. I know I could do it, if I could just get out of these restraints I’ve made for myself, or at least I’m pretty sure I could. Maybe. And there’s that self-doubt again, constantly following me round like some demented faithful dog. In this instance, I would definitely prefer an aloof, uncaring cat.

I know that getting another pill isn’t going to magically fix things, though I wish it would. At least this one makes me feel pleasantly stoned in the period after I take it before I go to bed.

Mania. Ugh.

Sometimes being bipolar is a real drag.

I’m closing in on my second week of this hypomanic cycle and it’s becoming a drag.

I’m sitting here, on the couch, tapping this out on my iPhone because I can’t sleep. Feeling pretty tired, but my mind feels otherwise.

This is my first decent manic cycle for a while. Got all worked up over how the painters were doing the windows, then the lacking water pressure in the renovated bathroom got me really angry, even though we’ve always had low hot water pressure. Now I’ve got the laughing because “everything is hilarious.” It really isn’t though, and on the inside, I’m pretty horrified at how long it can go on for. Giggling mess, but not in a good way. And of course there’s the being AWAKE.

I’ve been trying to write for NaNoWriMo, and while I can feel the story I want to write inside me, it’s getting stifled while it’s trying to come out.

I think that’s the worse part of all of this. It would be better if the mania was at least creative, that it could be channelled in some way. Then maybe the other issues would be lessened.

The way I am now, I’m either dysphoric and irrational, or sad (though that’s pretty settled now that I’m off Effexor). It’s getting incredibly frustrating.

The Second-Guessing

Today I came across a post on xoJane.

This excerpt really spoke to me:

Living with a mental illness is a study in survival. Every day, every emotion is questioned. What is this? Am I happy or am I starting to head towards mania? Is this an honest sadness or is my brain breaking again? Why is it breaking now? What is so different now than yesterday? Why me? Why this?

To say it’s frustrating is to minimize how paralyzing it can be. And then there’s the shame. Having to decide who to reveal to and when. If I meet someone I’m interested in, do I tell them that sometimes I shrink away or do I wait until it happens? Revealing too much too soon can end it before it begins. Waiting too long results in confusing behaviour that ends things as well. No matter how you play, someone isn’t going to understand.

– Bassey, Does That Make Me Crazy? Living With Bipolar II

How do you know that what you’re feeling is normal? Do other people feel the same way? We are only able to access the information inside our own heads, not others. It’s like trying to work out if other people see colours exactly the way you do. The way someone else sees perceives sea green (for example) maybe the way someone else sees perceives purple, but that’s the way they and you have always seen it, that’s what we were taught as children. It’s impossible to work out if you and I see things in exactly the same way, just like trying to work out if people’s emotions and internal, mental reactions to every day events are the same.

I’m not sure if what I’ve said above even makes sense to someone else… I know exactly what I mean, but of course you can’t see or hear my thoughts inside my head, or feel the way that I’m feeling.

Sure we all know that the majority of us will get a similar feeling of sadness from something, a feeling of happiness from something, feeling of anger from yet something else, but how do you know if the feeling that is triggered inside you is the same level that someone else will be feeling. What is the ‘normal’ way to be feeling about things? Do we really all get days were we feel extra sad, or days were we feel extra happy for no known reason? Or there might be a reason, but then you start asking yourself if the way you’re reacting and feeling is more extreme than someone else would be in the same or similar situation (or at least I personally do).

Then you get a whole other problem where you start to second guess whether what you’re feeling is a ‘true’ emotion, or are you just faking it so well that even you can’t be sure yourself whether it’s real or not.

And there’s issue where you start asking yourself why you find particular things triggering for mania or depression. Situations like getting low blood sugar, not getting enough sleep, even just stubbing your toe. Do other bipolar sufferers find these or similar events can lead them into an episode?

Over the top of all of this, there’s this thought gnawing away at you in the back of your mind, “Is this diagnosis really what’s wrong with me? What if I just display all the symptoms because that’s what I started believing I had? What if I’m actually a hypochondriac, and the reasons the medication works is because I believe it will work and therefore it has a placebo effect?” (Though in saying that, not all medication has worked for me, some making things worse, others not having any effect.)

I know there’s some of you out there that will read this and start to worry. You don’t need to, I’m ok 🙂 Really this is just me thinking aloud, wondering if there are others who feel the same way as I do, and looking for some enlightenment.