Sleep issue

After three manic episodes which I believe were triggered by a lack of sleep, I had made sure I got plenty of sleep since accepting my diagnosis.

Last night wasn’t a good night, I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours and I must eventually have fallen asleep as I woke up this morning with the usual anxious thoughts going round in my head – this time the anxiety was around, what if the drugs don’t help? what if I carry on having manic episodes, let alone depressive ones, despite taking medication?

There’s been a change of medication lately and I have now dropped the Olanzapine I was taking for mood stabilisers. My care co-ordinator suggested the change, saying Olanzapine wasn’t a good medication to be on, especially if there is a history of diabetes in the family, which there is in my case.

I am feeling slightly anxious how the new meds will work as I have taken Olanzapine on and off for three years. I know it also has helped me sleep too. What if the new meds don’t work the same, worst still, don’t work at all?

Yep, the morning anxiety is alive and well. I hope last night’s sleep issue is just a one off.


“Normal” day

After my initial anxiety issue this morning, I spent most of the day just chatting with my lodger in the backyard. If the weather is nice, it seems to be what I do these days, with one lodger or the other.

Chatting is good, although invariably the conversation turns to mental health at some point and eventually, I feel uncomfortable to remind myself of what I have done when in manic/psychosis mode. I really was that crazy. Me, who has never suffered anything like this before three years ago. It scares me to think my mind can disconnect and malfunction that much.

Late afternoon, I was invited to a BBQ. At first the thought got me anxious, I thought there would be lots of people and I don’t do lots of people these days. I always used to be quite confident and outgoing, especially after a few drinks, now I like to hide. My lodger recommended I took an anti anxiety tablet she had been prescribed, so I took half of one after ascertaining they wouldn’t interfere with my current medication. It helped me relax. I then found out the BBQ would be only four people, so I was happy to go.

See the problem is I don’t do large gathering, but particularly when there’s drinking involved. I don’t drink much these days out of choice. And finding myself with people who are getting drunk is not my idea of fun. I would like to say it was fun to be out, and it beat staying home doing nothing, but it was still a strain. I hate feeling like this, it’s like I am forever convalescing. 

But I went, spent most of it cooking the food truth be told, something I always enjoyed doing before, had a good chat or two and left when alcohol started to flow too much to retreat to the safety of my own home.

Hopefully, that means I don’t need to add social anxiety to my mental health issues.

Oh, and I found out today, by looking at the report the work doctor did a few weeks ago that I come under the Disability Act now…

Morning anxiety

Doomed if I do doomed if I don’t.

I started to get ready as soon as I woke up and then finding myself ready with nothing to do was hard to bear. So I started to lay in bed for a while instead but then thoughts come and go in my head, as I am going over my situation.

I wake up feeling extremely anxious, so anxious even I get sick first thing in the morning. My new lodger witnessed this this morning and said I needed to tell the doctor. But what for? More medication? Surely the medication isn’t going to chase away the thoughts that go round in my head? 

What thoughts? Well let’s see, this morning I was looking back at my life and realised that I have never done well when I have lived alone. I had a long period of being single in my late 20s and I remember drinking every night, and smoking quite a lot of weed. When I see pictures of my flat at the time, it’s a wreck, there’s mess everywhere.

And so my thoughts this morning were what if I just can’t live alone, what if I cannot cope alone? 

My lodger said she was glad I didn’t live alone at the moment as she dreaded to think how I would be feeling. She also said she felt when I am back at work and I have my licence back I will be in a better place. I hope so.

Nearly three years ago, when I moved back to the UK from Canada after my husband and I split, I lived alone. And I experienced depression, for the first time in my life. I was no longer drinking or smoking pot so my crutches were gone and I went down a spiral.

Three years on, I am still without crutches and still unable to cope properly. Now I have a new diagnostic to contend with too. Having Bipolar.

It sounds like a big deal and I need to talk about it to someone in the know. My current care co-ordinator is on holidays at the moment and so I have asked to see a different one. I need to know how bad this thing is, whether medication will make it all better.

I texted my old boss still working in the department yesterday to tell him the news. His text back was very nice, quite compassionate. It scared me a bit. It sounded like bipolar is a big deal. He talked about knowing your triggers. I don’t know what triggers are so I went on the net and searched for triggers for bipolar. Well, seems every life changing event is a trigger, divorce, death, birth, job loss, etc. 

I now know for sure my split with my husband was what brought on my first manic episode. What brought on the other two though I am unsure, I know shortly before both the American guy and I broke up. Guess I’d better stay away from relationships then if breakups are going to affect me this way. In any case, who wants a bipolar partner? 

What kind of life am I going to have? I know anxiety is fear of the unknown. And I shouldn’t look at the future, just take each day at the time at the moment. Please tell that to my mind first thing in the morning when I wake up and look at my new reality.

Dreaded mornings

Another tough wake up this morning. 

When my mind wakes up in the mornings, it goes through a check list of reality again. And I get very anxious. I am scared of so many things, all resulting in losing my independence, starting with my job and finishing with my house.

I am eager to start work up again yet I am scared how it will be being back after such a long absence. Although I love my job, it can be quite stressful. How will I handle it? Will I be able to cope in that environment again? What if I can’t?

If I can’t, then I will sure lose my house, that I fought so hard to keep. It’s now like a noose tightening around my neck. I have taken in two lodgers to help with the bills. Originally, the extra money was so I could afford holidays as my salary barely covers my outgoings. Now it’s a question of survival.

If I lose my house then what? What will I do, where will I live? Would I have to move back to France and be under my mother’s care? At the age of 44 in a few days…

There’s also the matter that at the moment I cannot eat. It’s been going on for over a week now. The stress and anxiety prevents me from eating properly. I know this isn’t doing me any good but I cannot seem to do anything about it.

These thoughts re-occur every morning I wake up. And when I go and have my first cigarette and tea, I usually get sick.

This is how my days start. I know they are only thoughts, thoughts that create more stress for me, maybe when I am back at work, everything will fall back into place like it did before, after I had my manic episode/psychosis in August. And I only have to wait a few more days, a couple of weeks to find out but I can’t shake this feeling that my life has changed for ever now I have accepted I have bipolar, and not for the better…so far.