Thought I would give everyone a real life update.
*Insert stupidly long irritated and annoyed sigh*
The arrival of our flooring and installation should have been done by now. In fact, our living room furniture was supposed to be delivered on June 12th, but we had to delay its delivery…twice. Unfortunately, my husband got the call that the manufacturer is having an issue and now my floors are delayed another ten days. I’m pretty annoyed. We went with a pretty well-known contractor, so I am not worried about the company running off with our money or never doing the floors. It’s just an inconvenience.
Currently, my living room looks like we were robbed.
Since we prematurely got rid of the couch, I have no where to just unwind other than at my computer desk. Sometimes, you don’t want to be at your computer desk when you just left your computer desk. You know what I mean?
It is what it is. Life goes on. #firstworldproblem
Antihistamine Did What?!
On a June 4th, I took a day off from work. I was feeling under the weather. I also started a new medication, hydroxyzine. It is an antihistamine. It is commonly used to treat anxiety on top of the normal things antihistamine does. I was basically drunk by overdose from the 5th through the 8th. I had taken full doses that Friday, Saturday, and then stopped. It wasn’t until the afternoon of the 8th that I was finally confident in my ability to drive. After an exchange with medication management, we cut the dosage in half and I’ve been fine since. I never knew antihistamine could do that to you. I’m not talking about Benadryl-induced sleepiness. I was straight-up not functional.
At one point, I was cognizant enough to go to Target with my husband that Saturday. While shopping, I am told by my husband, I started walking around with an invisible taquito in my hand. When we got to the car, my husband took me to QuikTrip to get a spicy chicken taquito, some chips, and a drink. He figured I was hungry or my blood sugar was crashing. He then told me that I devoured the taquito, ate some chips, and drank some of my drink and stared off into the distance as we drove home. When we got home, I almost cried because I thought he tricked me and didn’t take me to get a taquito. He had to point out that there were chips and a drink and the empty taquito wrapper. I had slurred speech and stumbled around like I was drunk. Once he got me up the stairs, he tucked me into bed and told me to rest. I don’t remember much about the weekend, let alone my trip to Target. I vaguely remember wanting a taquito, but everything else was a blur.
Yeah, that stuff really messed with me. So, be careful, folks.
I Might Have Bipolar II Disorder
Ah, yes. This is always a fun conversation to have. Mostly because I know how uneducated I was about the disorder, so I can only assume most people that have not been directly affected by it are also uneducated.
I always thought bipolar disorder meant that you have drastic mood swings. At least, that is how family members diagnosed with it would tell me. I think those diagnosed with the disorder often don’t fully understand. It was explained poorly to them by their doctor, and thus it was poorly explained to me.
I am by no means an expert on the topic. My diagnosis hasn’t even been finalized, but I’ve done enough research that I am confident that I check enough of the boxes.
Like all mental disorders, there is much disagreement about what is or isn’t part of a disorder. Bipolar disorder is no different. Currently, bipolar disorder is classified into two major categories: I and II. And, even then, there is a lot of disagreement on whether there should be two categories.
It is so much more than “mood swings”. SO much more.
Bipolar disorder I is often characterized by “manic” episodes. There are not merely “mood swings”. A manic episode usually lasts a week or more. Often, the behavior is risky and shows poor judgment like spending a lot of money without a thought to the consequences. For some, it is engaging in risky sexual behaviors that one wouldn’t normally do. The manic behavior gives confidence, self-importance, or elated behavior that is not normal. They might even need hospitalization during a manic episode. Some even experience hallucinations and psychosis. Manic episodes are often extreme, not just a sudden, quick, and temporary change in mood. It isn’t the “hot one minute” then “cold the next” that I associated with bipolar disorder. It’s important to distinguish that these episodes lasts days, not minutes.
Bipolar disorder II is often characterized by mostly depressive episodes with “hypomanic” episodes. The hypomanic episodes are typically less severe than a full-blown manic episode, however, it is not a less severe bipolar disorder. A hypomanic episode still causes a person’s behavior to differ from their normal state. Instead of having extreme highs, bipolar II usually has more extreme depressive states.
In my case, I am constantly depressed. Looking back over my life, I can’t genuinely say that there were periods of true happiness. Sure, I smile. I laugh. I learned those behaviors to adapt. I don’t mean that as an insult to friends and family, but the truth is, happiness is a feeling I am not familiar with. I am not saying I’ve never been happy. I’m saying it is rare and that depression has been such a long-term companion that I’m not even sure how to tell the difference anymore.
My first psychiatric APRN had told me one day that I am probably so depressed that periods of happiness go undetected because to others it seems like normal behavior. She never just told me she suspected bipolar disorder, but I guess it takes a long time to really nail down a diagnosis. Let that sink in for a minute. I am in such a constant state of depression that burst of true happiness, energy, or elated behavior goes undetected. It will just seem to those close to me that I am in a “normal” state. That’s depressing thinking about it.
What does this mean? It means therapy and medications for the rest of my life, but I’m already a well-practiced pro at lifelong imprisonment to health. It’s no different than diabetes. It’s just one more log to add to the fire.
But, as they say, life goes on.
I’m not really embarrassed by the potential diagnosis. I’ve always lived pretty openly. I’m not ashamed of my mental struggles. But you know what? My mental struggles never stopped me from achieving so much at such a high level. It may have hurt like hell to do it, but I always powered through the best I could. This makes it no different. Whether I finally get diagnosed with something, or not, life goes on.