My thoughts are stuck on repeat. Did I say this already? A repeat of five seconds, five minutes and five weeks ago. Churning round my mind, without spinning of course – there’s never going to be spinning again, not with these meds; I am a zombie. So I’m on repeat, I said so, it’s the only thing I really know. My concentration is worse than ever. I can’t do anything for more than a few minutes and this time it’s not akathisia. This time it’s the repetitions. So this time all I can do is fold puffy origami stars and fill giant kilner jars with the produce. I’m on to my third jar now. I’ve spent a small fortune on wrapping paper, which works so perfectly for the stars. It keeps me occupied anyway, usually with some background music. TV is an absolute no-go, even if I could concentrate I’m getting too many messages from it. They’re distracting and alarming. I’ve had to get off trains a few times lately because of the messages, but that’s about the extent they’ve had on my behaviour. I can resist this.
So I’m on repeat, the stars help a bit, at least I’m doing something with my hands while my mind churns, but I would quite like:
- The voices to shut up
- To actually want to do something constructive
- To be able to get outside without massive amounts of the Fear
- To stop feeling quite so horrifically low.
Because I do feel low. I’ve not felt quite this bad for this long in some years. I generally don’t do long lows; 2 to 3 weeks tops. I do long highs, which are just as bad, but the crash is like a dive and I end up back on the surface before too long. I assume this low is why I’m on repeat. A lot of the repetition isn’t even mine. I don’t know where the thoughts come from. I dare not tell CPN#4 just how low I’ve been exactly. She’ll want me under the crisis team/admitted and I’m not prepared to go into hospital or have people around over this. I need to be left alone. I have made some preparations, I am waiting for the right time. I cannot have too much attention on this. It may not happen, the low may finish. I just want all this, and all this pain to end. I’ll keep pushing back the date. No alarm bells for now. Death is by no means imminent. It’s just that with those repeating thoughts come Repeating Thoughts.
Today was CPN day. She is leaving for another job, so I met CPN#4. She seems nice. They talked at me, I gave monosyllabic answers. I’m to think about what they can do to help me over the next week so that come next Friday, we can talk about that.
They still want to increase meds, the psychiatrist says no for the moment – wait and see. In the meantime it’s hell for me. What am I meant to do with myself? Fortunately the akathisia seems to have dropped off, just out of the blue, but certainly no complaints about its disappearance. The less side effects, the more tolerant I’ll be of them. I was seriously considering coming off the haloperidol just because I couldn’t imagine being that restless forever. Especially after the psychiatrist said leave the duloxetine as it is. It’s not like I have any PRN I can take. Although I did take an extra procyclidine a couple of times – only when I was pacing the hallway at 3am and tearing my hair out. I dare not take extra haloperidol in case I sleep forever, or in case it makes the akathisia come back. I’m terrified of that.
I keep dreaming these horrible intense dreams, ever since starting haloperidol. They’re exhausting. I wake up tired and disorientated. I keep forgetting to eat; I have very little appetite until the evening when I suddenly realise I’m hugely hungry and end up wolfing down a large plate of pasta. It can’t be good for me.
So that’s enough complaining for now. In more positive news, everything else is fine. I have a lovely husband, a wonderful family and excellent friends. I’m visiting my best friend in a week, which will be the first time I’ve seen her in a couple of months as she lives about a four hour drive/train away. She doesn’t mind if I’m miserable and is amazing at distracting me, so I’m looking forward to the break. She’s got two lovely labs. I don’t normally like dogs, but hers are nice, more like giant cats.
Husband wants me to phone the CMHT tomorrow, today, as every day. But what do I say? Hi, I sort of want to top myself, what can you do? Oh well, distract yourself, any immediate plans? No? Okay phone if you need to. Seriously? That’s why I’m phoning now – I don’t want to get to crisis point. I’ve already done the things I know to do. I don’t know what you could do because you’ve already said it all too. I’m stuck. I’m not in crisis, nor am I well. What do I do? The lady who may or may not be my CPN is meant to have spoken to the consultant about my meds. I’m wondering if a higher dose of duloxetine will help. I think I’ve said this before. I have no memory of happy anymore. I miss it. I even miss being manic in a way. At least there was always stuff to do. I’m at a loss now.
Early bed every night. I start getting sleepy at about 7pm and hang on until half eight. There’s no point being awake, too painful, and no point in speeding up the coming of tomorrow.
I just want it over.
I saw CPN#3 today. I’m not sure if she actually is my CPN, or a care coordinator, or anything to do with me at all and she’s just the one that got lumped with me. I’m seeing her again next week anyway.
CPN#3 will be speaking to the psychiatrist about my medication. I want to increase the duloxetine so I’m not so sad and she wants to tweak the haloperidol. I might have to see the psychiatrist but I might get away with him just relying on her notes. I really hope I don’t have to see him.
With regards to my mental health, I still seem to be massively sad. I have some plans, but I think it’s okay. I can push the date back at the moment, so crises can be averted for now. Maybe the medication changes will help and then I’ll feel better and never have to act on anything.
The police were around outside a lot today, just watching. It’s unusual for them to be so overt. I mentioned it to CPN#3, she asked if the haloperidol was helping. It is, just not as much as I’d like it to. I’m better on it than off it, so for as mental health is concerned, though I can’t concentrate and my brain feels like wool. Wet, soggy wool, so hard to wade through…
…So I don’t know why I just applied for a load of jobs.
I think I’m still quite low in terms of mood. The main issue is just sheer apathy – I have absolutely no will to do anything. Nothing is fun anymore. My high episode was so high, project ideas came easily even if they didn’t get followed through. Now I have no ideas at all. I’m filling a jar with origami stars just for something to do with my hands. I filled one last year too. It’s just something to do. The stars are so easy, so repetitive, it’s like a lullaby. I can’t focus on anything else; I just feel so stupid, my brain won’t do what I want it to do.
When faced with a page of text it all just blurs together, which is putting a real downer on my MA. How am I meant to study when my brain won’t work? I struggle with Foucault at the best of times. Sit there, pretending I know all about object narratives… We have show and tell this week. We have to bring in an object that has personal or historical significance. I’m torn between taking an African wooden mask ny parents brought back from Nigeria, or my grandmother’s dress she made in Malaysia circa 1940. Both are interesting. I could talk for longer about the dress, but it’d be hard getting it there on the train.
I have an appointment with CPN#3 on Thursday. Not expecting all that much, but I think I’d like my duloxetine increased if she can wangle it with the consultant. I’m also terrified my diagnosis is different post-hospital as the CPA(?) they gave me there only mentioned things like ‘unusual experiences’ and ‘bugging devices’. There is no mention of mood symptoms despite my being high as the moon. No diagnosis is given on the form. Terrified they’ll say BPD. I have no idea what I’m being treated for – duloxetine and haloperidol. I’ll find out soon I suppose.
A part of me wants to find out what happens if I miss two doses of meds. A more sensible part of me is reminding me that that is a REALLY bad idea. Remember what happened last time you stopped medication? That you haven’t quite recovered from six months after you started? Yeah, don’t stop the meds. The thing is I’m so tired all the time. I need a naps most days and even then I’m sleeping around 12 hours at night. It is possible that I’m depressed. I certainly don’t feel right, whatever ‘right’ is. The nihilism is still hovering around of course, I’m not expecting it to go away quickly. What I NEED is a project. I don’t have anything I’m working on at the moment and I ALWAYS have a project on (or 7+ if my mood is high).
I have a few projects I never finished that I could restart: mounds of yarn to crochet stuff, a half-finished bag, some rainbow owls; a novel, on how wonderful everything is; a giant painting, inked and ready for colour. I was also all for learning things – I started learning Dutch and how to code a website. The coding has actually been useful as I’ve built a whole website using HTML, CSS and Joomla (as well as two half-complete ones). I’m still on my MA course, but I started that in a euthymic mood and not on impulse, so I don’t think that counts as a stupid-brain project.
My mum asked what I was feeling when I was so high it scared me, when I was so high I had to go back on medication or I would explode. The best analogy I can think of was that it’s like spending far too long at a funfair. So much fun, so many colours, sounds, tastes, people, wondrous feelings, but after a few months you find you want to go home, and settle down under the duvet with a cup of tea and a book. But you can’t, because you’re trapped in the funfair. Each day is the merry-go-round of trying to function, failing, trying to achieve at least one thing. Each day is the rollercoaster – your mood is so high that you go through periods of abject fear and others of pure exhilaration. There are so many lights – each one so beautiful you want to cry, you could die happy just because of this light bulb on your ceiling that is as breathtaking as any aurora. You get lost staring at it, burning out your retinas, just trying to understand and feeling that perfect connection with everyone in history who has ever stared at a light bulb, everyone who has ever used one in a school project. All those people at the funfair are the same – you have that perfect connection with each of them. You want to talk to everyone, hear their life stories, write books about them, but all those stimuli make it hard to hold a thought, hard to get a sentence out.
So this is why I’m not even going to trial missing two doses of meds. I have missed a single dose by accident one night, but nothing happened except a small increase in the intensity of the voices.
What is real exactly? I don’t mean me or other people, more a sort of ‘I think people are following me, but I know they’re not’. It doesn’t make sense really. I’m still trying to shake off the feelings I have that I’m going to be killed, experimented on, followed. Objectively speaking, I know I’m not, but I FEEL like I am. I still have voices intermittently, just a couple of times a day for an hour or so at most, but still it’s worrying.
I’m seeing a CPN on the 17th – first contact since leaving hospital, since being on this medication. I don’t know what to say; I still have symptoms, my mood is not fantastic. I’m sort of functioning, in that I’m fine, so long as I don’t have to actually DO anything. I can’t read very much, especially not stuff for my MA or for work, it just won’t stick in my brain. I feel stupid. Before I was medicated I had a mensa-tested IQ of 145, but now I suspect it’s a lot lower. There’s a choice isn’t there. Lose all of my thinking power or lose some of it. I’m not sure which is worse. I’m not getting visual symptoms anymore, so that’s positive at least. No limbs dissolving before my eyes, no panic.
What do I say to this CPN? I don’t know what the plan is long term, I want to get stable and get discharged from the CMHT again, but I’m guessing that won’t happen quickly. I think I would like my duloxetine increased in an attempt to shake this melancholic, nihilistic feeling I have deep inside. I don’t seem to be able to shift it on my own. I don’t know how. I’m trying to fill my days with things; I started volunteering at a National Trust place last week, and with uni back on now I have to leave the house 4 days a week. I can’t stop wondering what the point is. The POINT is of course perfectly straight forward: get better, finish uni, get a job, get a house, have babies. I never really lived for myself, but for others and most of the time that is enough, but right now it doesn’t seem that way. I suppose I had four months of exhilaration and joy for no good reason, and this is the price I pay. I hope it wears off soon.