Today was a tough day.
It’s only been three weeks since my diagnosis. I’m on 75mg of lamotrigine. Working up to 200mg. It’s too soon to see the benefits but I’m definitely being affected by the side effects.
Meanwhile I’m still not sleeping. I’ve got zero appetite. I get an unbelievably horrible headache that lasts forever.
And because I’m having mixed episodes, it takes very little to knock me down on my face.
This is hard on me. Yes. But also extremely tough for my family. Over the years, my significant other and I have had a constant battle over what he sees as patterns of behaviour that could be curbed with effort and what I’ve always said are parts of who I am. It’s stressful because I feel like I’m disappointing him when I screw up. It’s difficult to cope with because I feel like his expectations are unreasonable but I never understood why I couldn’t achieve what seen like pretty normal things.
So now I get it. I’m being proactive in the best way that I know how. I’m reading as much as I can. I’m setting small attainable goals which pertain directly to the things that are most important to me.
It’s a struggle.
The biggest struggle that I’m finding so far is that the impact that my undiagnosed self had on my family means that this is a learning curve for all of us.
I know that accountability plays a role in leveling out. I known that creating the routine I’ve talked about is important. But truthfully I’m just not there yet.
So when I screwed up last night…. I ended up out until 4am due to circumstances beyond my control. It has been a point of contention between us that I’m not in bed. This is not a new struggle. And unfortunately because this is an ongoing battle it meant that his patience was thin.
Let’s just say that there was a pretty big reaction. Frustration. Anger.
And I completely understand why. I get it. But it also pushes me into a Larry spiral.
Larry is the name I’ve given to the negative asshole who takes the wheel and drives me straight into the self-loathing wall.
It got bad. I have a tendency to lean towards a flight response. I was ready to move away from my family forever. And in fact, I didn’t want to live anymore at all.
It’s a really strange feeling to want to die while also being terrified of the idea. I wanted the pain to stop, for me and for the people that I love. And I’m aware that killing myself would only cause more pain but in the moment, Larry doesn’t really see that.
I was brainstorming what the least painful way to die might look like.
My significant other was clever enough to turn around half way to work and come home for the day. I really didn’t get better until about 1pm. It was a pretty deep hole with a very hefty spin on it.
I think it is a good time to get some supportive literature on how to live with someone who has a bipolar diagnosis. Because I understand where the frustration is coming from but I also want him to understand that I’m frustrated with it too. And that this is a long term journey. It’s not a matter of snapping my fingers and making it go away.
I think knowledge is power. And by understanding my patterns of behaviour we will all be better able to counter these huge swings moving forward.